Samuel Hughes made the most of his nearly four years with the Brownstown Police Department.
After going through the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy, he later completed basic and advanced school resource officer training, became a generalist instructor and specialized as a defensive tactics instructor and was one of two Brownstown officers on the regional SWAT team.
While it was a tough decision to leave, Hughes took his family and a great benefits package into consideration when deciding to apply for a lateral transfer to the Seymour Police Department.
Earlier this month, the 27-year-old was sworn in and received his badge from Chief Bryant Lucas.
“I did know some of the guys already just from being a cop here. Some of the people I haven’t met before,” he said of his start at SPD. “Everybody has been very receptive and almost grateful that I’ve come over here. They’ve had several vacancies, so having somebody with the academy helps them out, as well.”
Hughes said he will spend a month or two going through the field training officer program, but it’s modified version since he’s a lateral transfer.
“I’ll still have to hit all of those marks a normal FTO would have to hit but probably at a more accelerated rate because I’ve been in the job for a few years now, so that’s where I am now, just getting through that,” he said.
A native of Uniontown, Hughes attended Crothersville schools until eighth grade. His father was an evangelist, so the family moved a lot, and Hughes finished his schooling at home.
After completing that in 2012, he attended Oakland City University and earned an associate degree in criminal justice in 2016.
He was a correctional officer at Camp Atterbury in Edinburgh for a couple of years. For a while, he worked there and also was a jailer for the Scott County Sheriff’s Department until he decided to just hold down the latter job.
Hughes was drawn to the Brownstown job after seeing a post on the department’s Facebook page. He applied and later was offered an officer position and was sworn in at the start of 2018.
His second week on the job consisted of 40-hour prebasic training at a training center in Floyd County. Later that year, he graduated from ILEA.
“With a department that size, we got the opportunity of wearing many hats,” Hughes said. “Wherever there was a need or a vacancy in the department, I just stepped in.”
First, he was asked about becoming an SRO.
“I told them, ‘Hey, if it’s a need, I’ll fill it,’” he said. “I did that for a while (two years) and ended up liking it a lot.”
He spent time at all three Brownstown schools and liked interacting with students and staff.
“I didn’t actually think I would like it as much as I ended up liking it,” Hughes said. “Brownstown over the last few years has really been receptive to the SRO program. They are completely on board with it. We kind of built that program over the last two or three years. … Now, they are awesome down there. Those people are awesome. I had a great experience, and I got to work with a lot of good people there.”
Next, he completed one week of training at ILEA to be a generalist instructor for BPD and another week specializing to be a defensive tactics instructor.
“You have to have so many in-service hours of continuing education, but they want people that are specifically trained through ILEA to be able to teach other officers, so I did that,” he said.
The generalist class teaches officers how to be a teacher. They are given a topic and have to develop their own lesson plans, and they are graded upon how they teach it.
“You have to hit so many points as far as ‘Did you have enough information? Did you have handouts? Did you have things that go along with your lesson?’” Hughes said.
Defensive tactics is one of the four disciplines recruits learn at ILEA and also have to take every year after graduation. The others are firearms, emergency vehicle operations and STOPS.
“If you don’t complete those, you lose your certification,” Hughes said. “In order to be able to do that, you have to have instructors to be able to teach it, and my discipline was defensive tactics.”
He served as the instructor for BPD and also helped at ILEA and the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department.
Hughes also was one of two BPD officers on the regional SWAT team, which also has officers from the sheriff’s department and SPD.
“We train together, and any department can activate that SWAT team,” he said.
During his tenure at Brownstown, Hughes said he became very close with his fellow officers, including Chief Tom Hanner and Assistant Chief Joe Kelly, so that’s why it was tough to leave.
“When you work for a department that size, you get to know everybody on more of a personal level,” he said. “Brownstown was a great department. Best bosses I’ve ever had with having Joe and Tom. … Always had your back.”
Being a married father of five, living in Seymour, his kids going to school in the city and the appeal of SPD, Hughes decided it was time to make the transfer.
”It just made sense,” he said. “Everybody has been very nice. Everybody seems to work pretty good together, and the opportunities that Seymour has, they have different divisions, like K-9, and promotional opportunities that maybe you wouldn’t see (elsewhere). Those are some of the things I’m looking forward to getting my hands on.”