Sheriff’s department adds two deputies

The Jackson County Merit Board hired a Brownstown police officer and a county reserve officer for two open positions in the sheriff’s department during a meeting Wednesday morning.

Jordan Hawn, 25, of Seymour and Aaron Wilkins, 36, of Medora were hired by the five-member board, bringing the department to a full force at 17 officers.

Hawn and Wilkins emerged as the new officers from a pool of seven candidates who were selected from 17 that completed the physical and written testing.

The positions were created with the retirements of Rob Henley and Jeff Walters. Walters retired due to a knee injury sustained in the line of duty.

Hawn is an officer with the Brownstown Police Department, where he has served for nearly two years. He said he was interested in serving at the sheriff’s department because of the ability to serve the entire county.

“I feel like it’s the best place for me to further my career and serve the community as a whole,” he said.

Hawn said he looks forward to joining the department, which he feels is committed to the community.

“I like how involved they are with the community,” he said. “I think it’s great that they are hands-on with everyone and with their programs.”

Hawn already has graduated from the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy, so he only had to complete the physical and written testing as and interviews with the sheriff’s department staff and merit board.

Wilkins has served as a reserve officer since February and said it has been a lifelong dream to become a law enforcement officer. He said he has always been interested in the profession, but the timing never seemed to work out.

Being able to help during difficult moments is something he looks forward to doing as he begins his career as an officer.

“No matter what scenario I’m coming up on, I’m there to help the situation. I’m not there to make it worse or to make someone’s bad day worse,” he said. “I’m there to try to help people, do the right thing and do it with integrity.”

Wilkins said he also looks forward to setting an example for the community. He said police have been viewed negatively on a national level, and he wants to make sure to set a positive example locally.

“I think social media has played a large part of that, but this county does support its law enforcement, but I just want to continue setting that example,” he said.

Wilkins will go to the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy in Plainfield beginning in September and is expected to graduate in late December.

He worked for Enterprise Products for eight years and was a subcontractor for the company prior to that for eight years.

“They are a great company, and they’re the reason why I can chase this dream,” he said. “This all worked out really well for me to pursue this.”

Wilkins said he also is looking forward to working with a supportive department that has welcomed him since he joined as a reserve officer.

“I could never be any happier coming into this and starting a career under this administration,” he said.

The department has hired five officers since February following the retirement of several officers.