By Mark Robinson
In its nearly 40-year history as a city, Carmel has seen nine men serve as Chief of Police. All remain alive today, most still living in the area.
Current in Carmel updated readers last week on the first three chiefs – Jim Beard, Lee Dolen and Gary Barney. This week, two more share their memories of the police department and the city.
Jerry Lowe was a reluctant chief, serving from 1980-1986 in the middle of a 20-year career with Carmel PD. According to Lowe, incoming Mayor Jane Reiman was aware of internal strife within the department and asked Lowe to take the reins. Lowe refused; Reiman was persistent.
“She finally cornered me,” recalled Lowe, “and said, ‘You’re the guy I want.’ I said, ‘OK, Jane, but we’re not going to get along, you know that.’ I was chief for her for six years and it was a fun ride. I enjoyed every bit of it.”
Lowe cited some major drug sting operations while chief and, as a young officer, the uproar over stopping a high-profile basketball coach for DUI as highlights of his tenure as chief. He, like many, left the post when political winds brought in a new mayor or at least demands for change. Lowe learned he was no longer going to be chief the same day as the Challenger space shuttle explosion in January 1986. Ironically, Lowe ran for Carmel mayor in 1987 but lost to eventual winner Dorothy “Dottie” Hancock in the primary. At 76, he now lives in Albany, Ky.
Don Allen’s tenure as chief was brief, less than three months as an interim after Barney left the position a second time in late 1991. Allen said he was the 17th officer on the force when hired in 1977 and today’s department now has 113 sworn officers. “Some of that change has come since I retired,” Allen said, “but a huge, huge chunk came during the time I was there.”
During his 23 years with the department, Allen said he is most proud of the projects that completed the current police headquarters in 1990 and the renovation of the former police station into a merged police and fire communications/dispatch center. “Both the police station and the communications center projects came in on time and under budget,” said Allen, still living here and, at 65, a vice president of sales in Union Savings Bank’s mortgage division.
Carmel Police Department
Chiefs of Police
Jim Beard 1968 – 1974
Lee Dolen 1974 – 1975
Gary Barney 1976 – 1980
Jerry Lowe 1980 – 1986
Bob Smith 1986 – 1988
Gary Barney 1988 – 1991
Don Allen* 1991 – 1992
Roger Conn 1992 – 1995
Mike Fogarty 1996 – 2011
Tim Green 2011 – present