Jacob Sharp remembers his initial talk with Crothersville Police Department Chief Matt Browning about joining the force.
It wasn’t until this past spring — about a year later — that he put that into action and was sworn in as a reserve officer.
Then before the Sept. 7 Crothersville Town Council meeting, he was interviewed by the five members and offered a full-time officer job, which he happily accepted.
“I’m pretty stoked and excited. I feel like I’m making the right choice. It means everything,” the 34-year-old Crothersville resident said.
“It means a life change,” his wife, Wendy Sharp, added.
“Yes, complete life change,” Jacob said. “It’s not just for me but for my family. I’ve had the full support of my wife. My daughter, she’s 13, she’s backing me, and my boy, he’s 8, so he thinks it’s awesome. He keeps asking me ‘When are you going to get your car?’”
Sharp is from Jennings County and graduated from Apostolic Christian Academy in 2006.
Before becoming a police officer, he had only had two jobs: Seven years working for Brewer Livestock and 11 years working for Millstone Catering Group.
“My dad when we were kids started a vending company and he sold that off, and he started up another one 11 years ago, and that’s what I’ve been doing the last 11 years,” Sharp said. “It was me and my two brothers and my dad.”
His father and his younger brother were influences in making a career change to law enforcement.
“My dad, he was a reserve for Jennings County when I was a kid growing up for probably 12, 14 years. He did both. He did sheriff’s department. Then there at the latter, he went to the city (North Vernon),” Sharp said. “I would say it did play a role in it because as a little kid riding in a squad car, it was so much fun. My dad, he enjoys helping people, and I have that same enjoyment. I love helping people.”
Sharp’s younger brother died three years ago, so fulfilling a goal of becoming a police officer means even more to him.
“Me and my little brother, we used to play Cops and Robbers when we were young. We had Dad’s handcuffs and his vest, and we would play all the time. That’s what we always talked about when we got to be teenagers,” Sharp said.
“I just want to help people, and I want to be able to show my kids with everything that’s going on around this world, there’s still wrong, there’s still right, it’s black and white, there’s no gray, stand up and help,” he said.
Sharp also appreciates the opportunity he had to meet Browning and talk to him about becoming a police officer.
Once he signed on as a reserve, he completed his 40-hour prebasic course in Clark County. Then he had to put in a minimum of 16 hours a month for Crothersville, but he said he typically put in 90 to 100.
He feels fortunate to have learned from Browning, Assistant Chief Jonathon Tabor and Officer Levi Caudill.
“I’ve seen them help people,” Sharp said. “They put everything into it, and it’s very inspiring to watch Matt and Tabor work and Levi.”
Over the summer, Browning told Sharp a full-time officer job would be coming up and presented him with the opportunity. He determined it was the right time to take the next step.
“I can’t wait to get to know the people around here a lot more,” he said. “Our town is great. We love our town, and I’m looking forward to serving it as much as I can.”