New Columbus police chief sworn in; Administration staff announced

New Columbus Police Chief Steve Norman was sworn in yesterday morning by Mayor Mary Ferdon and Norman announced his new administrative staff.

According to the Columbus Police Department, Norman is a lifelong resident of Bartholomew County and has been with the police department for 29 years. He has served in roles ranging from patrolman to his most recent role as deputy chief under outgoing Chief Mike Richardson.

Matt Martindale will serve as deputy chief. Capt. Toby Combest will oversee the Uniform Division. Brian Wilder has been appointed as the administrative captain overseeing the Criminal Investigations Division, Intelligence Led Policing Unit, and the Joint Narcotics Enforcement Team. Lieutenant Matt Harris will be administrative lieutenant
overseeing the property room manager, the accreditation manager, and the Records Division. Sergeant Skylar Berry has been selected as the new public relations officer.

Biographies of the administrative staff:

  • Martindale is a graduate of Indiana University, where he obtained his law enforcement certification while working for the Indiana University Police Department. He started with the Columbus Police Department as a patrolman in 2014. While in the Uniform Division, he served as a DARE officer, field training officer, and an explosive ordinance disposal technician for the bomb squad. In 2018, Martindale was assigned to the Criminal Investigations Division as a detective and was promoted to detective sergeant a year later, where he served until being appointed as deputy chief.
  • Combest has served as the uniform captain for three years and will continue in his role overseeing the Uniform Division. Combest is a graduate of Columbus North High school and started with the Columbus Police Department in 2008. While serving in the Uniform Division, Combest was a field training and SWAT officer. He was promoted to uniform sergeant and was later assigned to the Community Oriented Policing Unit, then the Joint Narcotics Enforcement Team. Combest then was promoted to detective lieutenant before his appointment to uniform captain.
  • Wilder has an associate’s degree from Ivy Tech in computer programming. He started with Columbus Police Department as a patrolman in 2001. In his time with
    police department, he has held several positions, including field training officer, negotiator, bicycle officer, cultural liaison officer, patrol sergeant, and detective. Wilder has previously served as the administrative captain, as well.
  • Harris  is a graduate of the University of Southern Indiana and started with the Columbus Police Department in 2001. Starting as a patrolman, Harris was a DARE officer, a SWAT officer, and field training officer. Harris was then promoted to uniform sergeant. Harris served as the public relations officer for nearly 10 years and was promoted to the rank of lieutenant in 2016.
  • Berry  is a graduate of Columbus North High School and Indiana University. Berry worked as a part-time officer for the Indiana University Police Department, where he
    obtained his certification to be a law enforcement officer. Berry started with the Columbus Police Department as a patrolman in 2016. In 2019 he was selected to be a detective for the Criminal Investigations Division until being reassigned to the Intelligence Led Policing Unit. In 2023, Berry was promoted to uniform sergeant where he served until his appointment to public relations officer.

Former chief Richardson is moving jobs to be the city’s first director of Security and Risk. Richardson will take on the new duties on June 3rd, following his retirement later this spring.

Photo courtesy of Columbus Police Department.