Suspended Vigo County sheriff’s deputy reinstated after domestic battery incident

Local News

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — After a Vigo County Sheriff’s merit board meeting on Monday afternoon, Jeff Bell — who had been suspended in April after being charged with domestic battery — was reinstated at the recommendation of Sheriff John Plasse. Bell, who was demoted from 1st Sgt. to deputy sheriff, will return to duty on Tuesday.

Plasse said Bell had been suspended for a total of 10 weeks and underwent anger management training. His lost wages totaled about $21,000, which Plasse called “a significant penalty.”

When Bell returns, Plasse said he will be instructed “to be prepared for any reaction from people in the street. We all make mistakes, but he’ll be subject to more public scrutiny and rightfully so. He’s just gonna have to take it.”

Law enforcement officials are subject to “all sorts of negative comments, especially recently,” Plasse added. “That’s the life of a police officer today. He’s just going to have to let it roll off and do his job without it affecting his emotions.”

Bell pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct in early September in a plea agreement after being arrested in April on several charges including domestic battery and interference with the reporting of a crime. Plasse said that in Bell’s 18 years on the force, he had had no other disciplinary issues.

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