By Leah Sander
WINONA LAKE — Phillip Hawks brings eight years of experience to his new role with the Winona Lake Police Department.
And lots of support from family and friends.
Hawks was sworn in as the department’s newest deputy marshal on Tuesday, May 25, following the Winona Lake Town Council’s vote during a special meeting. He replaces Shawn Kantenwein, who opted to switch from full-time to reserve status.
Kantenwein was present at the meeting to see his replacement sworn in as were others members of the department. Also attending were about 20 family members and friends of Hawks’.
Hawks served for eight years with the Warsaw Police Department.
He said he made the switch to the WLPD because it was “just a better fit for me, for my lifestyle, for my family.”
Since Hawks already graduated from the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy in 2014 and has experience as an officer, he doesn’t have to go through a probationary pay period.
Hawks was brought before the council after a committee, including Council Member Heather James and WLPD Chief Joe Hawn, recommended it.
Hawn said the department was “overjoyed” to have Hawks.
“Actually, we kind of shut down the process after Phil had applied,” said Hawn of choosing him over the other candidates.
Hawks is also a military veteran, having served for six years in the U.S. Army.
He’s originally from Kosciusko County and graduated from Warsaw Community High School. His wife is Rebekah, and they have five children. The couple also serves as foster parents.
Hawks will start work immediately. His arrival leaves the department fully staffed with six full-time officers and six reserves.