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JASPER – This year the Indiana State Police celebrates 80 years of service to the citizens of Indiana.
However today marks a special milestone for the Jasper Post; it was 75 years ago today that the Jasper Post opened its doors at its current location.
The original Jasper Post was located in a red brick building at the northeast corner of Ninth and Bartlett streets, location of the Providence Home, in Jasper. During this time dispatching was done by AM radio only. The troopers could hear the post in their cars but could not transmit back to the post.
On Oct. 8, 1935, Indiana leased land from the city of Jasper one mile north of the city limits on State Highways 45-56 (now US 231) to build a new radio station and barracks. The design would represent the most modern type of crime-fighting facilities. On the first floor, the radio room would be equipped with a teletype, which was tied in with similar machines in 34 other cities in Indiana. There was also a new wireless transmitter and receiver for inter-state communication. Also on the first floor were a clerk’s office, his personal quarters, a receiving room, an arsenal which was fireproof and raid-proof and a large garage. In the basement there was a well-equipped photographic darkroom and laboratory, a workshop, a lockup for evidence collected in criminal cases, and a pistol range. A dormitory with locker and shower accommodations was located on the second floor, capable of housing ten officers. The division lieutenant and the post sergeant had individual quarters. A large lounging and recreational room was provided and opened on a second floor roof veranda.
On Feb. 15, 1938, after three years of planning and construction, the process of moving the Jasper Post from the Providence Home to its current location at U.S. 231 and Schuetter Road began. Jasper Post No. 8 opened for business with Don Franklin as the division lieutenant of both the Jasper and Putnamville Posts. Sgt. Hubert Day was the first commanding officer at the Jasper Post. He was assisted by Traffic Sgt. James Watts and Traffic Cpl. Gilbert Behrick. The district also had two detectives E.E. Mullins and Doyle Skelton along with 18 road troopers and three radio operators. The post covered 14 counties in southwest Indiana, Perry, Spencer, Crawford, Daviess, Dubois, Gibson, Knox, Lawrence, Martin, Orange, Pike, Posey, Vanderburgh and Warrick.
The Jasper District, now District 34, covers seven counties in southwestern Indiana that includes Crawford, Daviess, Dubois, Martin, Orange, Perry and Spencer counties. Although many changes — mostly interior — to the building have been made, the Jasper Post still operates from the barracks that opened in 1938. Even though the troopers and clerk no longer live at the post there are 27 troopers, six detectives, a detective sergeant, three squad sergeants, one first sergeant, one lieutenant and four civilian personnel that call the Jasper Post home.
“The Jasper Post is a special place,” said Superintendent Doug Carter. “The building is rich in tradition and history and the troopers currently assigned to the post are like those from the past; filled with integrity, loyal to their profession and they take pride in serving the communities and citizens in the Jasper District.”
The current Jasper post has served Perry County and surrounding communities for 75 years.