Officer hangs up badge after 32 years
By Jeff Burton Saturday, August 20, 2011
VALPARAISO | When Sgt. John Kuehl first hit the road as
a Porter County Sheriff's patrol officer in April 1979,
a two-way radio was the only way road officers had to
communicate with each other.
"Except if you were driving up in Pine Township, then
you were on your own," he said. "You couldn't get a
signal because of the sand dunes."
On Friday, after 32 years, three months and 19 days on
the job and tens of thousands of miles on his many
odometers, Kuehl retired as an active officer.
Kuehl said he first became interested in police work
during his adolescence, when his uncle would tell
stories about his job as a detective on the EJ&E
After being discharged from the U.S. Army in 1972, Kuehl
said he held a variety of jobs before he started with
the Sheriff's Department.
For 21 years, Kuehl paroled the county's roads, first as
an officer then as a supervisor. Promoted to the rank of
sergeant in 1989, for the better part of the past
decade, Kuehl's been the first face people see when they
enter the Porter County Sheriff's Department
headquarters, serving as the on-duty sergeant and
coordinating the sex offender registry.
Kuehl said being the face of the Sheriff's Department
for people in need of help has always been interesting.
"One thing about this job, I don't think two days are
ever the same," he said. "You see the best of people,
you see the worst of people. You cover crimes from A to