Master Trooper Dan Ringer is set to retire from the Indiana State Police after 34 years of dedicated service with the department and more than one million miles behind the wheel. Ringer will make his final drive to Indianapolis as a trooper in August to turn in his uniform and car.
Prior to becoming a state trooper in December 1979, Ringer worked on his family farm in Plymouth and graduated from Plymouth High School. Ringer commented that he now hopes to get back to farming part time with his family. Ringer became interested in the state police after he had the opportunity to ride with a trooper that was a neighbor.
After graduating from the state police academy, Ringer was sent to the Ligonier Post and made his home in Kosciusko County. Ringer worked at the Ligonier Post until it closed in 1982 and then moved to the newly constructed Bremen Post. Ringer changed his residence back to Marshall County around the same time and has remained a pillar in the community ever since.
In 1984 Ringer obtained his private pilot’s license. In that same year he attended a Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) school where he learned how to spot and identify marijuana from airplanes and helicopters. This new found interest carried through his entire career as Ringer is still active in the department Marijuana Eradication Program. Ringer commented that he has been responsible for spotting marijuana worth an estimated 35 million dollars and participated in more than 500 indoor grow busts. His ability to spot marijuana from the air has put him on a national stage as he has instructed national schools on spotting for the Airborne Law Enforcement Association (ALEA).
In 1988 Ringer became part of the newly formed Indiana State Police High Performance Vehicle (HPV) unit. Members of the HPV unit were assigned to high traffic areas within their district and also responsible for traveling as a group all over the state. This element initially used high-performance Ford Mustangs for the specific purpose of speed enforcement until it switched to the Chevrolet Camaro in 1991. Ringer estimates that he would often patrol more than 65,000 miles a year.
Ringer worked full time in the program until 2005 when he turned in one of the last cars in the unit. In his 17 years with the program Ringer wrote thousands of tickets across Indiana. But even more enjoyable than the chase was the arrest. I always enjoyed the traffic aspect of the job but truly loved taking the criminals off the street and testifying in court, commented Ringer.
In 2005 Ringer moved back to regular road patrol duties and split his time with the Marijuana Eradication Program before eventually moving into the program full time over the last several years.
“A mainstay for the department and the Bremen Post for so many years, it’s hard to imagine life here at Bremen without Dan. His drive and work ethic are unmatched,” stated Bremen Post Commander Lieutenant Chad Larsh.
When asked what he would miss most about being a trooper, Ringer stated, “The people and the comradeship. You build relationships over your career that can never be replaced and the daily interaction is tough to walk away from.”
Dan and his wife Janice have been married for 23 years and live in Marshall County.