Boone County Sheriff Tony Harris

The Thin Line Spotlight: Boone County Sheriff Tony Harris

Writer / Matt Keating
Photography Provided

Tony Harris, the new sheriff at the Boone County Sheriff’s Office, has an inspiring message in his emails.

It reads, “In God We Trust. Man can live about 40 days without food, about three days without water, about eight minutes without air, but only for one second without hope.”

Harris is a hopeful man, and he has an optimistic view of the future. It’s an upbeat outlook he has had for many years, and one that has helped him in his career in law enforcement.

“I was first hired by [former Boone County Sheriff] Ern Hudson on January 16, 1995,” Harris says. “I spent my first 15 years on the road in Enforcement Division serving as deputy, and then I was promoted to sergeant under the [former Boone County Sheriff] Dennis Brannon administration.”

For 13 of those 15 years, Harris worked the 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. shift, and says he absolutely loved it.

“In the afternoons, between 62 to 70% of all the calls we receive are for service in the county,” Harris says. “During this time I also served on the Boone County special response team, which is a multiagency team composed then by the Lebanon Police Department, Zionsville Police Department and the Sheriff’s Office. Since then, they have added Whitestown Police Department.”

Harris spent a total of 19 years on the team, serving as operator, entry team leader, assistant team leader and team commander.

“Under the [Boone County Sheriff Ken] Campbell administration, I was promoted to captain, which at the time oversaw the Enforcement Division,” Harris says. “Under the [Boone County Sheriff Mike] Nielsen administration, I was promoted to chief deputy and held the ranks of major and then colonel.”

Harris has a positive view of the future.

“We must be proactive,” he says. “If this county becomes reactive, we will have a problem. As soon as I took office we made several changes.”

Harris assigned a deputy to the Drug Task Force to further combat the drugs coming in and out of the county.

“We also reassigned a deputy to the Gun Crime Task Force to help keep guns out of the hands of criminals,” Harris says. “Both these task forces deal with drugs as well, and the intel we receive from both is invaluable to enforcement and investigations.”

Harris also added another school resource officer to the schools in Boone County, which covers Western Boone and Zionsville.

“This deputy will move between schools constantly or be assigned to a school where there could be a potential problem,” Harris says. “We also have investigators assigned to Internet Crimes Against Children, or ICAC. This team is made up of officers and deputies inside our county, and they track and arrest the predators who are taking advantage of our children on the internet and social media. They were averaging about one warrant a week, and had a week where they served two in the same week. This has become an endless problem in our society and we intend to get ahead of it.”

Harris notes that there is also a population growth in Boone County, which must be addressed.

“We are the second-fastest-growing county in the state, and only just behind Hamilton County,” he says. “It is my thought process that once Westfield slows from building and growth, we will then become the fastest-growing county in the state. Again, we must continue to be proactive with law enforcement throughout Boone County.”

Harris says there are measures citizens can take to keep their communities safer and help the police.

“There is an old saying that still rings true today,” Harris says. “It goes, ‘If you see something, say something.’ We have had a lot of crimes solved because a citizen has come to us with information that was a must for us to be able to move forward. The people of this county are great. So many times I hear people on the street say things like, ‘We support you,’ or, ‘I have your back.’ This truly keeps us going. Continue to thank those men and women out there serving as first responders. It makes our day.”

Harris adds that his family has always been a huge help to him. “Without my wife and kids’ support, I could not do this job,” he says. “They are the ones who make the sacrifice as I get to live out my dream.”

Harris is also proud of the officers and staff working for the Boone County Sheriff’s Office.

“We must make sure we are taking care of our employees and supporting them,” he says. “If we take care of our employees, they will take care of the rest. I’m not sure everyone is aware that the Sheriff’s Office employs over 100 people. Inside the Sheriff’s Office, you have the Enforcement Division, Investigations Division, School Resource Office Division, Corrections Division, Communications Division and the Courthouse Division. Boone County can be proud of their law enforcement throughout the county. We have some truly talented people that love their jobs. I’m just honored that I get to be a part of it all.”

Comments 2

  1. Nancy and Jim Hendrickson says:

    That is the sheriff we know. That is a nice piece on him. We’ve got your back!

  2. Bob Smith says:

    Tony, we are so proud of you and the man you are. We do support you. We feel safe with you at the helm. God bless you.
    Because b & Linda

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