Loudermilk voices concerns over FOP endorsement.

In a Facebook post dated June 16th, the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 85 shared an announcement that they were endorsing: John Plasse for Sheriff, Terry Modesitt for Prosecutor, Mark Clinkenbeard for Commissioner, and Charles Johnson for Judge.

Current Terre Haute Police Department officer, Adam Loudermilk, voiced concerns over the lack of representation – especially from the THPD – at the vote for the FOP endorsement, and the limited amount of communication to law enforcement officers about the date of the meeting.

Adam is the brother of Aaron Loudermilk. Aaron is running as the Republican candidate for Sheriff against incumbent John Plasse,

Adam Loudermilk stated that, “less than 10 members out of our 200 members got to vote on which candidates to endorse.” Vigo County Sheriff’s Deputy, Michael Ellsworth, responded to Loudermilk’s concerns by stating that at least two of the six members who voted were former city police, and “Plasse has a strong THPD backing by several members.”

Some of that support may be a carry over from Plasse’s time as Chief of Police. Plasse was appointed Chief in 2008 by then newly elected Mayor Duke Bennett, and served in that role until winning his election for Sheriff in 2018. Plasse can be seen pictured above campaigning for “Duke” during Bennett’s 2015 race against Democratic candidate Mark Bird.

While the debate over the fairness of the FOP endorsement plays out over social media, it does raise concerns again over law enforcement’s social media policies. Concerns first raised when THPD officer Gary Shook was suspended by Plasse for posts supporting Mark Bird, which he claimed violated THPD policies. That decision was eventually overturned by the THPD merit board.

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