Shawn Scott doing what he knows best: being a law enforcement officer
July 02, 2008
Crawford County Sheriff's Deputy Shawn Scott recently completed 17 weeks of training at the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy at Plainfield and has returned to full-time duty at the Crawford County Sheriff's Department.
Scott, 39, has been around law enforcement most of his life. His father, Richard Scott, is a retired Indiana State Police detective and a former two-term sheriff of Crawford County.
"As long as I can remember, there has been a police car parked in our driveway," Scott said. "I grew up around police officers. A lot of gatherings we went to were attended by police officers. They tend to be non-drinkers and are not party people, so a lot of times, they're not included in regular 'party' gatherings. They often have get-togethers of their own — their own social events."
|Former two-term Crawford County Sheriff Richard Scott pins the badge on his son, Shawn, after Shawn completed his training.|
A 1987 graduate of Crawford County High School, Scott went into the Air Force and became a Law Enforcement Specialist, the Air Force's version of military police. He was eventually assigned to the Elite Ambassador Unit, a white glove group whose assignment was to guard dignitaries. There was only 12 of those in each division. When he qualified for the post, in 1988, his father traveled to Texas and personally pinned the badge on him.
When he got out of the service, Scott took some college classes and worked in Crawford County at 911 Dispatch. He was assistant fire chief at Marengo for a while and was also on the Emergency Management Agency board.
"I've always had a passion to help people," Scott said. "I felt I just had to get back to doing that any way I could. That's what I'm supposed to do."
Scott also got involved with WBRO Community Radio and has managed the station for several years. Along the way, he also worked as a reserve officer for Chief Ray Saylor at the Milltown Police Department.
"I actually got my 40-hour pre-basic training on my own," Scott said. "I knew I wanted to get back into law enforcement. Then, English and Marengo were going to hire town marshals. and I put in for those jobs."
In the meantime, Crawford County Sheriff Tim Wilkerson needed help at the jail and hired Scott as a corrections officer. He also served as a reserve officer, and last July, took a job as a full-time deputy sheriff. An officer can serve up to one year before going to the police academy, and Scott began his training at Plainfield in mid-January.
"The first two weeks dealt with criminal law," Scott said. "It was pretty intense and dealt a lot with how to avoid lawsuits. Then, we had a week of training on drug recognition and interdiction. The course was taught by Kirby Staley, who I've known for years. He was an excellent teacher there."
The group Scott was in went on to do a hands-on, four-week class on physical motor skills and a week of firearms training.
"We then had a week of EVOC (emergency vehicle operation) classes," Scott said. "This is a really intense class. You have to perform on a track, that they even wet down sometimes, and you have to make instant turns and quick decisions in order to avoid cones at various speeds under different conditions. It's essentially relearning how to drive."
The group then spent a week learning how to safely execute traffic stops.
"We spent a lot of time learning how to approach a car once it's been stopped," he added. "This is one of the most dangerous things a police officer has to do. The majority of police officers who are killed, die from being attacked by a motorist or from being hit by another vehicle during a traffic stop. We learned how to get out of the traffic, and stay out of the 'kill zone.' That makes it safer for everyone."
They also went through a week of training on physical tactics — how to fight and handcuff, and a lot on submission and searching a person.
"We also learned a lot about active shooters, like the Columbine school shooter," Scott said. "There were a lot of techniques we needed to learn, like how to clear a building. And there were a lot of two-hour classes on things like human trafficking, illegal immigrants, security fraud, child abuse, evidence collection and how to work an accident scene.
"We had tests every week, and it was like a military environment, complete with drill instructors. There's an entrance exam everyone must pass to get in — for instance, you have to be able to do a set amount of push-ups and run 1-1/2 miles. And there's an exit standard to get out. You have to improve.
"I'm 39 years old, and I finished 39th out of a class of 115. Not bad for an old guy. I had to prove to myself that I was healthy and in good shape. My job depends on it."
When Scott graduated from the academy recently, his father, like 20 years earlier, pinned a new badge on him at the ceremony.