About the Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Office

The Sheriff is the chief law enforcement officer of the county, with his authority derived from Article 6 of the Constitution of the State of Indiana and Indiana Code 36-2-13-5. The Sheriff also has certain authority and powers delegated to him by the Vanderburgh County board of Commissioners. Among those is the administration of the Vanderburgh County Community Corrections Program. It is the policy of the Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Office to support the office of Sheriff with specific guidelines on the order of authority within the Office, absences of the Sheriff and Chief Deputy and orders of authority involving combined operations.

View a full list of our Previous Sheriffs > 

About the Office

The Sheriff has the following specific powers and duties:

  • The Sheriff must arrest without process persons who commit an offense within his view, take them before a court of the county having jurisdiction, and detain them in custody until the cause of the arrest has been investigated
  • The Sheriff must suppress breaches of the peace, calling the power of the county to his aid if necessary
  • The Sheriff must pursue and jail all felons
  • The Sheriff must execute all process directed to him by legal authority
  • The Sheriff must serve all process directed to him from a court of the county executive
  • The Sheriff must attend and preserve order in all courts of the county
  • The Sheriff must take care of the county jail and the prisoners therein
  • The Sheriff may take photographs, fingerprints, and other identification data of persons taken into custody for felonies or misdemeanors

The Sheriff has the power to appoint deputies in the manner specified by Indiana Code 36-8-10-4. The powers and duties of the deputies are specified in Indiana Code 36-8-10-9 and are virtually identical to the powers and duties of the Sheriff himself. The difference is that the Sheriff bears the ultimate responsibility for his own acts and the acts of his deputies.

Statutory powers and duties of all deputy sheriffs of the Sheriff’s Office include:

  • General police powers
  • Shall arrest, without process, all persons who commit an offense within their view, take them before the court having jurisdiction, and detain them in custody until the cause of the arrest has been investigated Shall suppress all breaches of the peace within his knowledge, with authority to call to his aid the power of the county
  • Shall pursue and commit to jail all felons
  • May execute all process directed to the Sheriff by legal authority
  • Shall attend upon and preserve order in all courts of the county
  • Shall guard prisoners in the county jail
  • Shall serve all process directed to the Sheriff from a court or from the county executive according to law
  • Shall take photographs, fingerprints, and other identification data as prescribed by the Sheriff of persons taken into custody for felonies and misdemeanors

Command authority in the day-to-day operations of the Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Office through each division is as follows:

  1. The Sheriff of Vanderburgh County
  2. Chief Deputy
  3. Executive Commander (Major)
  4. Section Commander (Lieutenant)
  5. Unit Supervisor (Sergeant)

When immediate decisions must be made on matters affecting the office as a whole, and a member of the Executive Staff is not available, the decision will be made by the highest-ranking senior deputy on duty or available at the time. When immediate decisions must be made on matters affecting the divisions, the executive commanders will make decisions concerning their respective divisions; however, in their absence, the highest-ranking senior deputy on duty or available within a particular division (Confinement, Administration, Operations) will make any necessary, immediate decisions.

Our Mission Statement

The mission of the Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Office is to serve the community in a manner that epitomizes those ideals woven into the fabric of the Constitutions of the United States of America and the State of Indiana. We will strive to enhance the quality of life in cooperation with all who share in making Vanderburgh County a better place to live. We are committed to excellence through:

  • Integrity – We will be honest and sincere in our personal and professional lives. We serve with courage and pride in maintaining the public trust by upholding the highest moral and ethical standards.
  • Compassion – We will be sensitive, yet firm while dedicating ourselves to preserving the dignity of each individual. Our cultural diversity allows us to be patient, caring, and kind in our treatment towards each other.
  • Fairness – We will consistently treat all people fairly and impartially in upholding the laws of the State of Indiana and the Constitution of the United States.
  • Service – We will dedicate ourselves to improve and ensure the quality of life for future generations through professional and quality service. We are committed to protecting life and property, preventing and solving crime, reducing fear, and providing a safe environment. We will strive to work in unity with our community to develop a partnership in solving problems and to be responsive to community needs and concerns.

Past Sheriffs of Vanderburgh County

Year

Name

1818 John B. Stinson
August 24, 1818 Hazael Putnam
1822 Alanson Warner
1824 James Newman
February 1827 Alanson Warner
September 1827 Daniel Miller
1831 Levi Price
1834 Edward Hopkins
1835 Daniel Miller
1839 Thomas F. Stockwell
1843 William W. Walker
1847 John Echols
1849 John S. Terry
1853 John S. Gavitt
1857 John B. Hall
1859 John S. Gavitt
May 1862 Joseph B. Cox
1863 George Wolflin
August 1865 Robert Early
October 1865 Alex Darling
1867 Jacob H. Miller
1870 Adolph Pfafflin
1874 Christ Wunderlich
1878 J.A. Lemcke
1880 Thomas Kerth
1884 Charles Schaum
1888 Frank Pritchett
1892 Andrew Richardt
1894 Charles G. Covert
1899 Martin Koepke
1902 Christian W. Kratz
1907 William E. Barnes
1911 John J. Davis
1915 William Habbe
1919 Herbert Males
1923 Fred Henke
1924 Shelby McDowell
1929 William Ruston
1931 William Habbe
1933 Clyde M. Hesmer
1937 Edwin Diekmann
1941 Val Dietsch
1943 Bert Martin
1945 Arval Barr
1947 Bert Martin
1949 Frank McDonald
1959 Greshim Grim
1967 Jerry E. Riney
1975 James A. Degroote
1983 Clarence Shepard
1991 Ray Hamner
1999 Brad Ellsworth
2007 Eric Williams
May 2014-Current Dave Wedding

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