Mayor Kristen Brown administered the oath of office to the Columbus Police Department’s three newest officers February 19th at the Board of Public Works and Safety meeting. The new officers -- Brian Voyles, Brandon Thomas and James Butler -- fill positions created by retirements in 2012.
Officer Voyles is a 35-year-old native of Salem, Indiana. He has an associate's degree in criminal justice from the University of Phoenix. Officer Voyles lived and worked in New York City for approximately 14 years after graduating high school. Officer Voyles, who is single, was inspired to enter law enforcement after the events of 9/11.
Police Chief Jason Maddix stated, “Brian brings a significant amount of life experience and maturity to our department. He is passionate about helping others. This will serve him well as a Columbus police officer.”
Officer Thomas is a 24-year-old native of Centerville, Indiana (Wayne County). He most recently lived in Bloomington where he worked part-time for the Indiana University Police Department while attending college. Officer Thomas is a 2010 graduate of the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy. He also holds a bachelor's degree from I.U. Bloomington, with a major in criminal justice and minor in psychology. Officer Thomas is married to his wife of two years, Blanca.
Chief Maddix stated, “Brandon has the education, experience, and professional demeanor that we are looking for in officers. With his previous law enforcement experience, he will immediately begin our field training program.”
Officer Butler is a 26-year-old resident of Franklin, Indiana. He has a bachelor's degree in secondary education from Franklin College and was recently employed at the Johnson County Juvenile Detention Center as a Youth Care Manager. James and his wife, Georgina, have been married for four years and have a 2-year-old son, Aidan, and a newborn, Max.
Chief Maddix stated, “James has an excellent track record of working with youth. With his educational background and work experience he will be an asset for our department.”
Officers Butler and Voyles will begin 15 weeks of basic police training on April 1st at the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy in Plainfield, Indiana. Officer Thomas will immediately begin our 14-week Field Training Program, where he will be paired with a veteran officer.
CPD still has four positions to fill. The department has received over 300 applicants for the initial screening and testing, which will be conducted on February 23rd. Applications are no longer being accepted for this hiring process. The department's goal is to have these four positions filled in late May.