Last week, 10 Indiana State Police officers were recognized in Indianapolis by Superintendent Douglas Carter for their resolute dedication and appointment to the department’s Underwater Search Rescue/Recovery Team.
Trooper Andy Cochran, of Warsaw, was among the scuba team members who recently completed the 6-month probationary period as divers and received their uniform pins from Superintendent Carter, designating them as USRT members.
Superintendent Carter addressed the new divers with heartfelt emotion and respect. The superintendent started his diving career with the state police in 1986 when he attended the state police Basic Underwater Dive School (BUDS). Carter recalled completing the school the hardest thing that he had ever done and respected the divers for their dedication to the program.
The state police B.U.D.S. program started in 1960 with 14 men who were sent to a 6-day scuba school. The program has since evolved into a 24-day school where more than 25 dives are completed combined with 40-hours of classroom work.
USRT Commander Sgt. Alan Lowrance commented that the divers leaving the B.U.D.S. program today are well equipped with the knowledge and skills needed to safely navigate the often dangerous waters of public safety diving. Public safety divers often dive in less than ideal conditions including zero visibility and entanglement hazards, commented Lowrance.
Today the state police have 35 divers on the USRT stationed around Indiana to respond to various types of water-related incidents including evidence recovery, drowning and swift water rescue.