Director leaving for state 911 job

Reuter led county emergency center for past decade

A retired Indiana State Police commander who has directed Bartholomew County’s 911 Emergency Operations Center for the past 10 years is leaving to supervise Indiana’s 911 emergency services.

Ed Reuter announced Monday that he will leave his current job May 15 to become executive director of Indiana’s statewide 911 Board.

The board administers collection and distribution of 911 funding assistance from the state to the local level and oversees the statewide 911 network, which routes and delivers wireless 911 voice and text messages from the public to the local 911 authority. The board also ensures that new technology is available and widely deployed to meet the public’s expectations — and to meet the individual needs for all Indiana residents and visitors.

In his letter of resignation, Reuter, 63, wrote that he had originally planned to retire from his position in Bartholomew County in three years.

“However, this opportunity was presented to me and my plans have changed greatly,” Reuter said.

He will succeed Barry Ritter in the statewide position.

Reuter, who served 33 years with the Indiana State Police before retiring in 2007, showed a bit of emotion as he thanked the Bartholomew County commissioners Monday.

“What you guys gave me is what provided me this opportunity,” Reuter said.

Bartholomew County Emergency Operations Center Deputy Director Julie Pierce will take over Reuter’s responsibilities on an interim basis while a permanent successor is found.

A 1972 graduate of Evansville Central High School, Reuter left college to support his parents after his father became ill, commissioners chairman Carl Lienhoop said.

After beginning his career as an emergency dispatcher, he attended the state law enforcement academy before he was hired by the Indiana State Police — where Reuter eventually worked his way up to a post commander.

“When his name was submitted 10 years ago, (Reuter) was one of the easiest hires we’ve ever had,” Lienhoop said. “He has never disappointed us or let us down.”

Reuter’s partnership with local law enforcement was described by Columbus Police Chief Jon Rohde as fabulous.

“Just having someone over there who works well with everyone, is focused, and knows what needs to be done is just tremendous,” Rohde said.

Although Bartholomew County’s Emergency Operations Center has received statewide recognition as one of the leaders in 911 services, Reuter gave most of the credit to his staff.

“I am proud of their work and what they have accomplished, as well as the support they have given to me personally,” Reuter said.

Reuter and his wife, Lisa, will continue to reside on Columbus’ northeast side, he said.

The application process

Bartholomew County will post the Emergency Operations Center director position to qualified Bartholomew County employees for a period of five days, commissioner Larry Kleinhenz said. City employees will then be given an opportunity to apply, he said.

After that, a search will be made on either a state or national basis for a minimum of three weeks, Kleinhenz said. Applications should be submitted to the Bartholomew County commissioners, county attorney Grant Tucker said.

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Mark Webber is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at mwebber@therepublic.com or 812-379-5636.