New Brownstown police officer sworn in


Working for a city police department for about eight months, Adam Behmlander realized it didn’t suit him.

He later was hired by the Nashville Police Department, which has six full-time officers.

That, however, was a 40-minute commute one way from his home in Seymour.

For the second time, in the fall, he applied to the Brownstown Police Department, which would be a much shorter commute. He wound up receiving a call from Chief Tom Hanner offering him a job, and Behmlander accepted.

His first day on the job was Feb. 15, and he was sworn in four days later.

“It was a sigh of relief because I enjoyed working in Nashville, but I was commuting about 40 minutes to work each day,” the 30-year-old said. “Now, it’s 10 minutes, so I’m saving 30 minutes in the morning. It just means more time with my family and I get to see them more and not driving as much, either.”

Brownstown now has seven full-time officers and one part-timer.

Behmlander was born in a suburb of Detroit, Michigan, and lived there until he was in junior high and his father became principal at Immanuel Lutheran School in Seymour.

He went on to graduate from Trinity Lutheran High School in 2007 and earn a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Concordia University Ann Arbor in 2011.

“I had done some ride-alongs with various police departments,” he said. “I had rode along with Columbus and Seymour, and the job was just very interesting to me. I enjoyed the camaraderie that the officers had with each other, and I thought it was something I would be interested in, so that’s what made me decide to get into law enforcement and study criminal justice.”

While in college, he did some more ride-alongs with various police departments.

“I had done a few ride-alongs just to make sure that’s what I wanted to do first,” Behmlander said. “I saw how the officers were helping the citizens, and I thought that was very neat. I realized that’s something I wanted to get into.”

His first law enforcement job was as a corrections officer at the Edinburgh Correctional Facility. He was there from 2011 to 2015.

“I basically maintained safety and security of inmates and staff,” he said. “It was exciting for me because while I knew I didn’t want to stay there, it was a steppingstone and I was heading in the right direction, and it gave me experiences dealing with people there that I knew that eventually I was going to deal with out on the streets.”

In the latter part of 2015, he learned of an opening with the Columbus Police Department, applied and was hired. He graduated from the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy in Plainfield in February 2016.

After realizing working in a big city wasn’t for him, he went back to Edinburgh for about a year. Then in April 2018, he was hired as an officer in Nashville.

In the fall, he saw on Brownstown’s Facebook page that the department was looking to hire an officer, so he applied, went through testing and later was offered the job.

“I knew Brownstown was the place I wanted to be just because it was a smaller department, smaller area,” he said. “It also gave me an opportunity to still be in Jackson County because I live in Seymour, so it checked all of the boxes of what I was looking for. I really wanted to be here, and I said, ‘I’m just going to keep applying until I get it,’ and I applied, and here I am.”

The swearing-in ceremony Feb. 19 at Brownstown Town Hall was special for Behmlander because his parents, grandparents and two children were in the audience, and his wife, Erica, held the Bible.

“It’s always great to have their support,” Behmlander said. “In this type of business, it’s not the easiest, and unfortunately in some families, not everybody supports a person’s decision to get into this work. I’m lucky enough that they all support this decision and they are behind my back. They are ready to help me in any way they can. … It’s nice that I can always rely on them.”

He is now working with a field training officer to learn the streets.

“Between here and Nashville, all of the laws are the same, but the way that you go about handling the calls and the business is different, so I’m learning that, as well,” he said. “I’m definitely looking forward to meeting more people in the community, establishing a rapport and relationship with them, and then even though I’m the new guy here, I’m somebody they can trust when they need it.”

He also is getting to know his fellow officers.

“I had already known an officer on the department, Sam (Hughes), and he had spoken very highly of this department, so I was excited to get started here and meet the guys and become a part of their team,” he said. “Any time you go to a new job, you’ve got lots of questions about how they handle business, what they do here, so they’ve all been very helpful to answer any questions and just help me get settled in here.”

Behmlander said he plans to stay in Brownstown for as long as he can.

“It’s somewhere where I’m going to make a career out of,” he said. “I’ve always wanted to be here just because of the size and it’s still in Jackson County. I’m very happy to finally be able to get on here.”

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Name: Adam Behmlander

Age: 30

Hometown: Seymour

Residence: Seymour

Education: Trinity Lutheran High School (2007); Concordia University Ann Arbor (bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, 2011); Indiana Law Enforcement Academy (2016)

Occupation: New officer for the Brownstown Police Department

Family: Wife, Erica; sons, Bradley, 4, and Elijah, 2