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Dermody taps Buell as new Chief of Police

La PORTE, IN (Feb. 5, 2024) – Mayor Tom Dermody today announced and swore in Richard Buell as the new Chief of Police for the City of La Porte Police Department.

A La Porte County native, Buell’s policing career began at LPPD. He advanced quickly through the ranks, holding the titles of Patrolman, Corporal, Field Training Officer and Firearms Instructor during his six-year tenure.

Following his stint on the city department, Buell served 20 years for the La Porte County Sheriff’s Office as a Sergeant, Captain, Chief of Detectives and Jail Commander. He then went on to serve another six years as the Executive Director of La Porte County Community Corrections. Dermody said Buell’s ample experience speaks for itself. 

“Between his impressive resume and his dedication to the community he’s served, Dick is hands-down the right candidate for the job,” Dermody said. “Having got his start right here in the City of La Porte, Dick knows what it takes to serve and protect our community. He will undoubtedly bring accountability, structure and years of valuable experience to the position. We are thrilled to welcome him to our city leadership team.”

Among Buell’s goals for the position are continued drug enforcement, increased safety of our residents and setting high standards within the department. Buell said he’s eager to get started.

“It is exciting to be back to where my policing career first began - only now with over 30 years of experience under my belt,” Buell said. “This community has always held a special place in my heart, and I am proud to once again serve all who live and work here. We have a great deal of work ahead of us, but I welcome the challenge and look forward to getting started.”

Buell and his wife Dava have been married for 39 years. They reside in La Porte County and together have four children, 13 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Dermody also appointed and swore in Officer Matt Drangmeister as Buell’s Assistant Chief. Drangmeister has served 16 years on the City of La Porte Police Department and has held leadership roles including President of the FOP, Field Training Officer, Corporal and Sergeant.



PHOTO CAPTION: City of La Porte Mayor Tom Dermody (far right) celebrates the swearing in of new Chief of Police Dick Buell (far left) and Assistant Chief Matt Drangmeister (third from right) on Monday, Feb. 5, 2024, at La Porte City Hall. Buell, who got his start in policing at LPPD, has more than 30 years of experience. Pictured, from left: Chief Buell, Dava Buell, Patricia Drangmeister, Assistant Chief Drangmeister, Jackie Dermody and Mayor Dermody.