By Nancy Price
Greenwood Police Chief John Laut has announced he is retiring after serving the department for more than 30 years. His last working day will be Aug. 28.
“Eight years in executive police leadership comes with stresses and worries that take their toll,” Chief Laut explained. “We have made so many changes at the department, but a new chief can keep making progress in ways that I have not thought of. Police work evolved constantly, and I am ready to let someone else make all the decisions that need to be made daily.”
Laut decided to become a police officer when he was an Indianapolis Police Explorer. “I view a career in law enforcement more of a calling rather than a career,” he said. He was hired by the Greenwood Police Department on July 5, 1988. He was promoted as a detective and sergeant and in 2011 was assigned to the United States Marshal Service fugitive task force. In 2012, Laut was promoted to chief by Greenwood Mayor Mark Myers.
A lifelong Southside resident, Laut graduated from Southport High School in 1981. He graduated from the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy in 1988 and received a degree in criminal justice from IUPUI in 2008. In addition, he received training at the FBI National Academy in 2006 for executive police leadership.
Laut recalled how law enforcement has changed in the past three decades. “In 1988 we carried 6-shot revolvers, a nightstick and shotguns,” he said. “We now carry semi-automatic pistols, patrol rifles, tasers, chemical OC spray. We are better trained in so many areas than we were in the 80s. Police officers today have to be computer savvy and are better educated.”
Under Laut’s leadership, the Greenwood Police Department has grown in the number of officers, was one of the first agencies to implement a body-worn camera program and created a crime analysis position.
A small celebration will be held at the Greenwood Amphitheater on Laut’s last day, where Greenwood Mayor Mark Myers will issue a proclamation.