Charges have been dropped against the Starke County sheriff’s candidate who was accused of impersonating a corrections officer in February. Greg Wireman was due to be in Pulaski Superior Court this morning, but the hearing did not take place. Rather, Wireman’s attorney filed a Memorandum in Support of Motion to Dismiss in which he explained Wireman was, in fact, a corrections officer at the time he was accused of impersonating one.
The memorandum explains that Wireman’s supervisor, John Kohles, asserted that the Starke County Community Corrections department oversees convicts sentenced to the Indiana Department of Corrections and administers a Home Detention Program, a Community Transition Program and a Community Services Program. It also establishes that Wireman was a “correctional police officer” as defined by state law, with duties that include overseeing offenders serving home detention in lieu of imprisonment in the Department of Corrections.
Indiana Code authorizes a community corrections officer to arrest, seize or otherwise exercise police powers “in connection with an offense committed in the presence of the officer,” regardless of whether the suspect fell within the jurisdiction of the Department of Corrections. Kohles says in his affidavit that he had personally exercised these powers by arresting a person who committed a crime in his presence. Kohles also said that Wireman was an exceptional officer and in good standing on Feb. 15, when the alleged impersonation occurred.
They stem from a Feb. 15 incident at Wireman’s aunt’s rural Starke County home. She called him because three door-to-door vacuum cleaner salespeople were being very pushy and wouldn’t leave her house. They claim Wireman detained them and told them he was a corrections officer.
Because the affidavit of Wireman’s supervisor, Kohles, conclusively establishes that Wireman was a correctional police officer, and a correctional police officer is, by definition, a “law enforcement officer,” the charges were dropped.