New officer joins force: Vallonia native grew up listening to police stories


Growing up, Kevin Settle of Vallonia heard lots of stories about being a police officer from his grandfather, Ted Settle.

“(Ted) is retired state police, so I would hear all of his interesting police stories from way back then,” Kevin said.

Some of the stories were exciting, others were sad and some made him laugh, but Kevin, now 25, said he never forgot those stories.

It’s what led him to follow in his grandfather’s footsteps and pursue a career in law enforcement.

“I kind of decided that I really wanted to do (law enforcement) a year after I graduated high school and went to college,” Kevin said. “It’s always been an interest of mine since I was little going up and staying with my grandfather.”

On Jan. 25, Kevin Settle was sworn in as Seymour Police Department’s newest officer. Ted Settle proudly held the Bible on which his grandson placed his hand to take his oath.

A 2011 graduate of Brownstown Central High School, Settle attended Vincennes University, where he studied conservation law enforcement. He graduated in 2014.

An opportunity to become a reserve deputy with the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department changed his mind about becoming a conservation officer however.

“I started doing just regular police work and basically just fell in love with it,” he said.

After four years of being a reserve deputy, it was the interaction with other people in the community and the adrenaline rush he would get when responding to calls that sealed the deal.

“The idea of being out and driving around making the community a safer place, I just can’t think of a better job that that really,” he said.

When it comes to law enforcement, Settle said he believes his communication skills will be put to good use, especially when “talking people down.” Those are skills he honed while working at the Jackson County Jail for two years. He also spent 6-months working at the Jackson County Juvenile Detention Center.

“A lot of the times instead of resorting to (getting physical) with an inmate, I was able to talk them down and diffuse the situation,” he said. “I was really good at doing that.”

The biggest challenge of his new position will be learning the differences of how it operates compared to the sheriff’s department, he said.

So far, Settle has not had the opportunity to ride along with another Seymour officer but has been receiving other relevant training including firearms.

He, along with new officer Josh Daniel, will leave for the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy in Plainfield on Feb. 19 and spend 15 weeks receiving advanced training in a variety of areas, including criminal and traffic law, firearms, accident investigation, domestic violence, crime prevention and drugs and narcotics.

With Settle, the department stands at 41 officers.

“I’m excited and a little nervous about it, but just anxious to get it over with,” Settle said of the academy.

He is looking forward to getting out and doing what police officers do, he added — serving and protecting the community.

“There’s always something going on here,” he said. “I’ll never be bored, I don’t think.”

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Name: Kevin Settle

Age: 25

Hometown: Vallonia

Education: Graduated from Brownstown Central High School in 2011 and from Vincennes University with an associate degree in conservation law enforcement in  in 2014.

Job: Newest officer with the Seymour Police Department

Past experience: Has been a reserve deputy with the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department for four years; worked at the Jackson County Juvenile Detention Center for six months and the Jackson County Jail for two years.

Family: Parents, Jeff and Sherry Settle; sister, Kourtney.

Hobbies: Hunting and fishing


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