The Ripley County Sheriff’s Office, conducting months of intel and surveillance, obtained enough information in reference to drug activity in the town of Sunman to secure search warrants for two separate residences there.

During the execution of the search warrants, officers located numerous items of drug paraphernalia, as well as multiple drugs, and other items used for the use and sale of illegal drugs.

Further information was obtained from the two search warrants, which led to the execution of a third search warrant in Sunman later that night by the Sheriff's Office and State Police. During the execution of the third warrant officers located items consistent with the use and sale of illegal drugs inside of the home.

Three individuals were arrested during the execution of the search warrants, and are as follows:

Curtis Carpenter, 27 of Sunman, arrested for Maintaining a Common Nuisance and Possession of a Controlled Substance.

Victoria Farrell, 20 of Sunman, arrested for Maintaining a Common Nuisance and Possession of a Controlled Substance.

William M.E. Underwood, 23 of Sunman, arrested for Dealing in a Controlled Substance and Maintaining a Common Nuisance

These cases are still under investigation by the Ripley County Sheriff’s Office and the Indiana State Police. No other information will be released at this time.

Sheriff Grills noted, "This was a great effort again by my staff and ISP to put a dent in a serious drug problem in our community. Most people know I am retiring, but I promised to remain vigilant to the end. My office will continue to move forward after I am gone and I am proud to have accomplished so much in my years as Sheriff. I thank my staff for helping, and making that happen."

All individuals arrested are innocent until proven guilty.

If anyone has information on this drug activity, or any other illegal drug activity, please contact your local law enforcement agency
On Sunday, March 9, 2014 at approximately 10:54 PM, the Ripley County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of an accident, with injuries, involving a vehicle located on SR 46, east of Morris, which came to rest inverted.

Officers arriving at the scene located and identified the driver of the vehicle as 24 year old Rickie Gould, of Sunman. Gould, who was not wearing his seatbelt, was transported to Margaret Mary Community Hospital where he was treated for minor injuries and released.

Evidence at the accident scene suggested Gould, who was operating a blue 2007 Toyota Scion, was traveling west on SR 46 when for unknown reasons his vehicle crossed the centerline and began traveling in the eastbound lane before crossing back over the centerline into the westbound lane, turning sharply, and running off the north side of the roadway, into the ditch, and overturning.

According to Gould, the accident was caused by road rage, in which another vehicle was following Gould too closely. After passing Gould the vehicle cut him, slamming on its brakes. Gould attempting to avoid a collision lost control of his vehicle.

The vehicle was described as a lime green newer SUV, possibly Toyota or Subaru, with very bright halogen headlights, and a spare tire mounted on the rear.

The accident is currently under investigation by Deputy A.J. Smith of the Ripley County Sheriff’s Office.

Anyone with information is urged to contact the Ripley County Sheriff’s Office at 812-689-5558, 812-689-5555, or any law enforcement agency. Callers can remain anonymous.

The Ripley County Sheriff’s Office was assisted at the scene by the Batesville Police Department, Morris Fire Department, Ripley County Paramedic, and Rescue 30.
On Sunday, March 9, 2014, at approximately 11:03 AM, the Ripley County Communications Center received a report of a single vehicle accident on CR 200 W, near Osgood.

At approximately 11:10 AM, Deputy Jason Dickerson arrived on scene and observed a beige, 1994 Ford Taurus, stationary next to a residence located at 1088 N CR 200 W, with heavy damage to the driver's side of the vehicle.

Evidence at the scene suggests the vehicle was travelling north on CR 200 W, near the intersection of CR 100 N, when for unknown reasons it left the roadway striking a utility pole, snapping it in half, and coming to rest near the residence.

Tony R. Buchanan, 51, Versailles, IN, the sole occupant and operator, was trapped inside the vehicle and Osgood Fire deployed the "jaws of life" to free Buchanan from the wreckage.

Buchanan was flown from the scene by PHI Air Medical to University of Cincinnati Hospital for his non-life threatening injuries. His current condition is unknown at this time.

Alcohol is believed to be a contributing factor in the crash.

Also assisting at the scene were Ripley County Medic, Osgood First Responders, and Rescue 69.

Sheriff Grills noted, “This goes to show the motoring public potential intoxicated drivers are not limited to late night or early morning driving. It is a real possibility that operators of vehicles can be intoxicated during the middle of the day. Use caution while driving and report suspected intoxicated drivers immediately.”

The crash is still under investigation and charges could follow near the completion of the investigation.
Deputy Ryan McKittrick has graciously accepted the 2013 Officer of the Year Award from the Versailles American Legion Thursday, Feb 6, 2013.

Every year the Versailles Legion chooses a fireman and police officer for his or her outstanding performance in his/her duties for the year. For the year 2013, Deputy Ryan McKittrick was chosen to receive the award.

Deputy McKittrick was a 2006 Milan High School graduate. While at Milan he played football, and attended the Southeastern Career Center Law Enforcement Program. He also completed an internship at the Ripley County Sheriff’s Office as part of that program requirement. This year he will finish his Associate Degree at Ivy Tech Community College for Criminal Justice.

In 2009 he was selected as a Reserve Deputy for the Ripley County Sheriff’s Office, and that is where he began his career in law enforcement.

In 2011, after working for Ripley County in a volunteer capacity for nearly two years, he was hired at Vevay Police Dept. and attended the Indiana Law Enforcement Basic Course 2011-191, graduating in April of that same year.

In 2012, a little over a year after leaving, a position with the Sheriff’s Office opened, and Deputy Ryan McKittrick returned home to continue his law enforcement career as a Deputy with the Ripley County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputy McKittrick has achieved various training accomplishments, including but not limited to, qualifying as a firearms expert, obtained general instructor certification, is a defensive tactics instructor, standard field sobriety certified, Datamaster breath test certified, and facilitates the Sheriff’s Office gang intelligence, and in-car video systems with video logistics and maintenance.

In 2013, Deputy McKittrick led the Sheriff’s Office in documented case reports with 113, investigated the most crashes with 77, and served 510 civil process papers, in addition to all the other complaints and calls received on a regular basis.

Sheriff Grills stated, “Deputy Ryan McKittrick is a very significant asset to our Office. His willingness to succeed and work ethic make him a very valuable employee and an admired colleague. I am pleased to have had the ability to hire Ryan and work along side him. His future looks very bright!”

Sheriff Grills added, “I want to take a minute and also thank the legion for their years of support and dedication to our country and community. It is a lot of work putting this award ceremony together and all they do in the community. Thank you! It is very much appreciated by me and everyone else in the community.”

If you have any information on criminal activity, or pertaining to a criminal act that has occurred, you are urged to contact the Sheriff’s Office, or your local police agency. You can remain anonymous.
Sheriff Grills has announced that Corporal Rob Bradley will be promoted to Chief Deputy effective February 1, 2014.

The Chief Deputy is second in command of the Office and is responsible only to the Sheriff. The Chief Deputy commands both merit and non-merit personnel. This position is appointed by the Sheriff, and will hold the rank of Major.

The Chief Deputy shall act for the Sheriff in his/her absence and may assign duties to county police employees during the Sheriff’s absence. The Chief Deputy’s duties include, but are not limited to:

a) Attend Sheriff’s staff meetings and provide input on major Office decisions.

b) Supervise the command personnel assigned to the various divisions.

c) Evaluate personnel, equipment, and facility needs and make appropriate recommendations.

d) Inform the Sheriff of problems within the Office.

e) Represent the Sheriff and/or Office at various functions outside the Office.

f) Respond to incidents that involve a major threat to public safety.

g) Confer with appropriate staff regarding Office or departmental problems.

h) Assist in preparation of budgets for various divisions.

i) Review performance evaluations of employees supervised to assure rating reflects the level of performance.

j) Perform all general and special duties assigned by the Sheriff.

k) Implement and update Deputy work-schedules.

l) Supervise the Jail Commander and the operation of the county jail.

Sheriff Grills noted, “I am excited to promote Major Bradley to this important position, and feel he is very qualified to assume the new role. This will be great for his future career within the Sheriff’s Office. He will be assigned duties and be responsible for issues I am not able to participate in, or can’t get to, and he will learn the intricacies of the operation of the Sheriff's Office from me for the benefit of the public and the Office itself.“

Deputy Bradley’s career spans over 14 years with Sheriff’s Office beginning as a jailer in the 90’s where he worked about two and half years. He was then hired as the Osgood Deputy Town Marshal and held that position for three years. Bradley was subsequently hired as a deputy in 2002, and has spent the last 12 years in that capacity.

On Sunday, January 26, 2014 at approximately 7:42 AM, Ripley County Communications received a report of a female not answering her door due to an unknown problem. The complaint came from the landlord at a residence in Elrod, on US 50 east of Versailles.  Emergency services personnel were dispatched and, upon their arrival, were unable to gain immediate access to the apartment. Entry into the apartment was made after Corporal Rob Bradley arrived to assist. Inside the apartment first responders located 37 year old Hannah L. Walker (recently moved to Elrod from Cincinnati) deceased. Corporal Rob Bradley, Detective Abe Hildebrand, and Deputy Jason Dickerson are the investigating deputies along with Ripley County Coroner's Office Deputy Matt Wright. They were assisted at the scene by Rescue 30. While it is believed that drug use is a contributing factor, the cause of death is still unknown at this time. Results will be released pending return of coroner's report. This could be up to several weeks. If you, or anyone you know, has any information in this incident, you or they are urged to contact the Sheriff's Office at 812.689.5558 or 812.689.5555 after hours.
At about 9:25am, Friday, January 24, 2014 Ripley County Communications received a report of a two vehicle crash involving a Batesville School Corporation bus, and a 1998 Jeep Cherokee driven by a 17 year old juvenile. The crash happened near SR 229 on Evergreen Drive, south of Batesville. As Sheriff Deputy Ryan McKittrick arrived on scene, evidence from the crash suggested the Jeep, being driven by the juvenile was backing out of a private drive, failed to yield, and struck the school bus as it passed by. The juvenile told the deputy as he applied the brakes to stop and he slid on the ice and snow covered driveway and out into the roadway. There were no injuries reported at the scene for passengers on the school bus driven by Rhonda McQueen, 53 of Laurel. It was reported a 14 year old passenger in the Jeep suffered a minor cut to his head area, but was not transported to the hospital. He was released to a parent at the scene for treatment. The crash is still under investigation at this time. Sheriff Grills would like to remind citizens to use extra caution in the inclement weather as road conditions and driveways still remain slick and hazardous for travel.
On Thursday, January 23, 2014, at about 12:07 P.M., Ripley County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to a single vehicle accident on US 50 east of Versailles, just inside the town limit.
Deputies arriving on scene learned a 2003 Pontiac passenger car left the roadway, impacted the embankment on the north side of the road, spun 180 degrees before coming to rest in the ditch.
The driver Scott Pavey, 49 of Dillsboro, reported the roadway conditions caused him to lose control of his vehicle and run off the road. There were no injuries reported. Versailles Police assisted with traffic. Sheriff Grills would like to remind citizens to use extra caution in the inclement weather as road conditions still remain slick and hazardous for travel in certain areas.
(1/23/14) Ripley County Sheriff Tom Grills announced today the Indiana Sheriffs' Association will again be awarding college scholarships to qualified high school seniors or college students who are pursuing a degree in criminal justice studies.  There will be approximately 40-$500 scholarships awarded to qualifying students throughout the state. The Indiana Sheriffs' Association Scholarship Fund was established for the purpose of receiving, investing, and dispensing of funds to provide college scholarships to qualified students who are committed to pursuing an education and career in the law enforcement field. To qualify for one these scholarships, the applicant must be an Indiana resident, be a current member of the Association, or a dependent child or grandchild of a current member of the Association, attend an Indiana college or university, major in a law enforcement field, and enrolled as a full-time student (12 hours). Applications needed to apply for the scholarships are available from the high school counselor, the sheriff’s office, or by writing to the Indiana Sheriffs' Association, 147 East Maryland St., Indianapolis, IN 46204, and requesting an application form. The applications must be completed and received by the Indiana Sheriffs' Association on or before April 1.
(1/23/14) Sheriff Tom Grills is pleased to announce that new bulletproof vests have been purchased for deputies with the help of a grant though the Bulletproof Vest Partnership (BVP).
BVP was created by the Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Act of 1998. This partnership is a unique U.S. Department of Justice initiative designed to provide a critical resource to state and local law enforcement. The U.S. Department of Justice states they are committed to improving officer safety and has undertaken research to review and analyze violent encounters and law enforcement officer deaths and injuries. In response to concerns from the law enforcement community, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced an initiative to address the reliability of body armor used by law enforcement personnel and to examine the future of bullet-resistant technology and testing. As part of this initiative, the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) has examined Zylon®-based bullet-resistant vests (both new and used) and is reviewing the process by which bullet-resistant vests are certified. According to the Office of Justice programs website, since 1999, the BVP program has reimbursed more than 13,000 jurisdictions, a total of $277 million in federal funds for the purchase of over one million vests (1,084,081 as of October 17, 2012). BVP is a critical resource for state and local jurisdictions that saves lives. Based on data collected and recorded by BJA staff, in FY 2012, protective vests were directly attributable to saving the lives of at least 33 law enforcement and corrections officers, in 20 different states, an increase 13.7% over FY 2011. At least 13 of those life-saving vests had been purchased, in part, with help from BVP funds. Body Armor Safety Initiative - An Initiative of U.S. Department of Justice. Vests are rated for five years and have to be retired at the end of that five-year period, and new vests purchased. The Sheriff’s Office was at that expiration period last year.
Although the cost to purchase new vests topped $15,000.00, almost half of the money to purchase vests was secured through the grant request. The other half of the money needed was collected from firearms application revenues. Sheriff Grills noted, “The citizens of Ripley County who request a permit to carry a handgun pay fees, and a portion of those fees are deposited into an account that we can use to purchase firearms, ammo, and of course, these vests. I want to thank them for not only choosing to protect themselves, but to help us pay for much needed equipment.” Following two years of declining law enforcement officer line-of-duty deaths, the country realized a dramatic 37 percent increase in officer deaths in 2010. Fifty-nine of the 160 officers killed in 2010 were shot during violent encounters; a 20 percent increase over 2009 numbers. In 2013, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page, there were 107 officers killed in the line of duty, 31 of those from gunfire.

 

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