Reid Health is in the process of transitioning its security department into a state-recognized police force with the swearing-in of its first officers. The chief of police and three officers were officially sworn in during a ceremony last week.
Randy Kolentus is the new Chief of Police, Jeff Cappa is Assistant Chief, Dennis Perkins is Captain and Steve Smith is the Officer/Training Officer. The health system announced in 2019 that it would transition its security department to a state-recognized police department.
Kolentus served over 20 years on the Richmond Police force, Cappa served two terms as Wayne County Sheriff and Perkins served in the Connersville Police department for 20 years.
“With the growth of Reid Health and the accompanying increases in the need for police assistance, this move will result in increased safety for everyone and help reduce the burden on regional law enforcement agencies,” Kolentus said.
The transition means increased training and certifications for the 25 eventual members of the force in Richmond and Connersville. Officers at the hospital will have arrest authority, allowing them to shut down potentially violent incidents. Officials say the department will create what will be the third-largest police force in the county, behind Richmond Police and the Wayne County Sheriff’s Department.
Reid Health Vice President Jennifer Ehlers is the administrator over Security Services and says the first group of officers will begin training at the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy in July. Ehlers adds due to the limited space at the academy, the full transition of the security team to a police department is expected to take three years.