New faces: County merit board hires three sheriff’s deputies


The process of replacing three officers who recently retired from the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department ended Wednesday morning after the civilian merit board approved their replacements.

The five-member board agreed to hire Justin Amos, 36, of Seymour, Zach Elliott, 26, of Crothersville and Chris Hubbard, 36, of Brownstown following a process that includes interviews an physical and written testing.

The three men were selected from a pool of 42 applicants.

[sc:text-divider text-divider-title=”Story continues below gallery” ]Click here to purchase photos from this gallery

Sheriff Rick Meyer said the addition of the three will bring the department to a full staff with 17 officers. The openings occurred after the retirements of former Sheriff Mike Carothers, Lt. Andy Wayman and Officer Tom Barker.

Elliott, an officer with the Austin Police Department, is the only one of the three new officers who has been through the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy, so Amos and Hubbard will have to complete the course.

“We will have to get them scheduled for the next available class,” Meyer said, adding the coursework takes a few months.

Amos, a stormwater foreman for the city of Seymour, said he always wanted to become a police officer.

“It’s something I’ve always wanted to do,” he said. “I’m chasing a dream.”

Amos said he has been driven by helping make the community a safe place and making an impact. The includes his volunteer work with Jackson County United Way’s Day of Caring. He’s also served on the United Way board.

“I see this as another extension of a way to give back and maybe a way to bring a positive influence in the community,” he said.

Elliott has worked at the Austin Police Department for the last year and a half, but his he has been interest in law enforcement begin in high school. He said he job shadowed at the sheriff’s department when he was a junior.

Elliott took a job at the jail for a year before working for the Austin Police Department.

That will be helpful, Elliott said, because he already knows much of the staff there.

“I’m excited, and I’m ready to get going,” he said. “It will be a little different going from patrolling a city to going all around a county, but I’m looking forward to it.”

Elliott said said he looks forward to working with the quality of people at the department.

“They’re a good group of people over here, and I look forward to working with them,” he said.

Hubbard spent nearly 15 years in the Marine Corps and served as a corrections officer at jails in North Carolina, Japan and Afghanistan through his service.

“The time I spent in law enforcement was enjoyable,” he said. “Everyone has the same mindset where they know maybe people don’t like what they’re doing, but it’s all for the greater good.”

Hubbard said the department giving him an opportunity shows it is seeking experience because he is older than many of the applicants.

“I think it speaks volumes to the maturity that the department is looking for,” he said. “They’re not just wanting the physical part, but someone who can make these quick, important decisions based on what they’ve seen.”

Hubbard said his overall experience in the military has prepared him for a career as a police officer. He said he applied after friends encouraged him to do so, and it has been all he has thought about since.

Hubbard said all of his family lives in Jackson County, so it will mean a lot to him being able to protect them.

“My whole family lives in this community, so it’s great to know that I have a hand in helping keeping them safe,” he said.

Meyer said he was happy with how quickly the department was able to complete the interviews and physical and written tests.

The tests were conducted Jan. 19, and interviews followed from Meyer and the department before interviews with the merit board. Each person involved in the interviews selected the same people.

“Everyone came to the consensus of the three we selected, so you know you did something right when everyone agrees,” he said.

Chief Deputy Dustin Steward, Officer Ben Rudolph, Lt. Adam Nicholson and Detective Bob Lucas conducted the first round of interviews for the department. Meyer said he wanted staff to know they had a say in who was going to be hired.

“It was good to see them all get involved because these are guys we want to work with for the next 20 or 30 years,” Meyer said. “You want to surround yourself with good people.”

Meyer said those who applied and were not hired should not give up and continue trying.

“There are guys who were good candidates, and I hope they continue to work on it because you never know that the next time it may be them,” he said. “Not everyone gets hired the first time.”

No posts to display