VINCENNES, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV)—After serving as Vincennes Police Chief two times over more than 30 years, Chief Robert Dunham will officially retire on July 13.
Dunham said after serving as chief for both the city and Vincennes University he thinks a new generation in charge will be beneficial.
“It’s been a pretty busy 18 months and I think we’ve made a lot of progress. But I’m a firm believer in younger, fresher minds needing to be put in to play,” Dunham explained. “Jon here, back when he first started I told him he’d be running this department. I’m just tickled to death to be able to hand over the reigns to him and for him to continue to move in positive manner.”
Sgt. Jonathan Hillenbrand, a resource officer at Lincoln High School, will take over for Dunham. He’s an 18 year Vincennes Police Department veteran.
Hillenbrand said after seeing the department go through a bout of scrutiny, he’s ready to build upon Dunham’s legacy.
“I like to refer to it as like pendulum,” Hillenbrand said. “The pendulum had to swing far to the right. Chief Dunham had to come in and bring that pendulum back into the left and I hope to level things out and bring things back to the middle.”
After working with Hillenbrand for nearly 20 years, Dunham said he’s excited to see the work he does for the community.
“I think you have the mental attitude of public servant over professional officer,” Dunham said. “You’ve got to have professionalism but you’ve got to understand that we’re here for the citizens. We’re here not just to protect and serve.. but to work alongside the citizens and he is most definitely right there with that.”
Following his retirement, Dunham will be a school resource officer for Vincennes Community Schools.