The sudden resignation of Crothersville’s police chief caused the town council to spring into action.
Council President Danieta Foster said she received Brent Turner’s resignation around 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, and it was effective immediately.
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That night, the council conducted a special meeting and voted 5-0 to accept the resignation.
Another unanimous vote came on appointing Matt Browning as chief.
“The council along with the other officers felt that it’s Matt’s time and that he would be the best fit for the job,” Foster said.
Browning’s annual salary will go from $34,944 to $44,226, effective immediately.
Foster said the council will be discussing the hiring of a new officer during upcoming meetings. Turner’s resignation leaves the department with three full-time officers.
“As for me personally, I hate losing any member of our team and wish Brent the best,” Foster said. “I believe chief Browning along with the other officers will do a good job for the town of Crothersville and its residents. I have full faith in their abilities.”
Turner, 41, started in law enforcement in 2006 as a reserve with the Medora Police Department. After a year there, he was a reserve officer with the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department.
He joined the Crothersville force in 2012 as a reserve officer for a year and a half before becoming full time. In September 2016, he was appointed interim chief when Richard Hanlin left to work for the Spencer Police Department. The interim tag was removed in January 2017.
Browning, 35, grew up in Adena, Ohio, before moving to Indiana and settling in Hope and Columbus. He graduated from Columbus North High School in 2001 and earned his commercial driver’s license from the Truck Driver Institute in 2004.
After moving to Crothersville, he decided to fulfill his longtime dream of being a firefighter and a police officer. He started with the Crothersville-Vernon Township Volunteer Fire Department in December 2007 and was sworn in as a reserve police officer July 11, 2015.
He took 40 hours of pre-basic training and wound up putting in about 100 hours per month as a reserve.
“I have wanted a career in law enforcement since I was a kid,” he said. “It took awhile for me to go through with it, and I have my wife, Brandy, to thank for pushing me so hard to go after it, and I thank the town of Crothersville for giving me the opportunity to achieve my goals.”
He became a full-time officer in October 2016 and later graduated from the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy in Plainfield.
He said he feels honored the council sees him as a good fit to take over as chief.
“I’ve always wanted to excel at any job I’ve ever worked,” Browning said. “It takes hard work and dedication from not only me but my family, as well. They play a huge role in what I have become, and they have supported me in everything I have wanted to achieve. It really helps to show my children that hard work pays off and to never give up on any goals one may have.”
As chief, he said he looks forward to make some changes in the department.
“As of specifics, I don’t have much as of right now,” he said. “I’ll have to meet with the officers and see what they would like to see changed. It will affect each of us, so their input is important to me. We have a great group of officers, and I feel with their support along with the council’s support, we can make changes within the department.”
Browning said he also will continue to work with other local police departments.
“When I took the patrol officer spot, I took it because I absolutely love this community,” he said. “I’ve been with the Crothersville fire department for 10 years and have lived here for the same amount of time. It’s such a great community that is filled with a lot of great people that make a person want to call it home.
“It means a lot to me to serve the community,” he said. “I look forward to getting out in the school and having our officers make time to stop in and walk the hallways and talk to the students and administrators and also be on the streets communicating with the public.”