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Issue of October 22, 2014
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Former Harrison County Superior Court Judge Carlton Sanders and his wife, Sue, stand outside the RV they donated to the Harrison County Sheriff's Dept. for use as a mobile command unit. Photo courtesy of Harrison County Sheriff's Dept.

'The Judge' ready for anything

Sanders donate RV for use by HCSD as Mobile Command Center

September 03, 2014 | 09:41 AM

It debuted to the public at the Harrison County Fair parade. It provided shelter during the Harrison County Fair. Next week, thousands of people will see it at the Lanesville Heritage Weekend festival. And, in case of an emergency, it can serve is a central hub and command center for personnel from police, fire, EMS and emergency management.

A 1999 recreation vehicle was donated by former Harrison County Judge Carlton Sanders, who served for 12 years as superior court judge, and his wife, Sue. Through a lot of hard work — and no tax dollars — the RV has been transformed into "The Judge" Mobile Command Center.

Carlton Sanders said the RV was originally used to go back and forth to Florida but, in recent years, had become too cumbersome to drive. He said he was approached by Harrison County Sheriff Rodney (Rod) Seelye to see if he'd be interested in perhaps donating it to the HCSD.

"He indicated what it could be used for, and my wife and I talked about it and it's something we wanted to do," Sanders said.

Once the HCSD received the RV, there were several things that needed to be addressed, including a roof leak in the rear of the vehicle. Much of the interior was stripped out and replaced with equipment that emergency personnel can utilize in case of a large-scale crisis, including televisions that can air each of the local networks, Internet capability, phone lines and other tools. The exterior of the RV received a vehicle "wrap" that sports the HCSD logo and the names of the donors. All of the updates were paid for with money and property seized from drug raids, so no tax dollars were used.

"This is definitely a tool that we can use," Seelye said. "We wanted something that we could bring out if there's some type of natural disaster or a large-scale emergency, to serve as the central hub, or for our officers to use at large public events, and the RV was perfect for that. We can't thank Judge Sanders and Sue Sanders enough for what they've done for us. This will be a lasting legacy for the sheriff's department."

"When the sheriff said no tax dollars would be used, and that everything would be paid for from money from drug busts, well, that really sold me," Carlton Sanders said. "It needed tires and so forth, and I think they've done a really good job with it. I think the sheriff and his chief, Wayne Kessinger, did an excellent job with it."

Philanthropy is nothing new for the couple.

The Sanders' donated $60,000 to establish a mock courtroom for use by Ivy Tech Community College Southern Indiana's criminal justice system, donated more than $568,000 to the Indiana University Southeast School of Business in 2008, and, in 2000, donated $1 million to establish the Sanders Chair in Business. Sanders and wife both earned their Bachelor of Science degree from IUS School of Business.

After graduating from IUS, Carlton Sanders worked for the Capitol Holding Corp. and studied law at the University of Louisville, where he earned his juris doctorate in 1976.

Sue Sanders worked for the Aegon Insurance Group, and its predecessor companies, for 40 years until retiring in 2000.

In addition to their recent donations, the Sanders have been active participants in several different events and causes, including the Indiana University President's circle, IUS School of Business advisory council and alumni board, Community Foundation of Southern Indiana, Metro United Way Harrison County, LifeSpring Mental Health, Harrison County Hospital Foundation and The Salvation Army.

Twitter: @TCD_alan

  1. print email
    September 04, 2014 | 11:08 AM

    This is what is suppose to take place. Not for the HCSD to be beholdened to DHS, but to the people of the community. Thank you Sanders for this, for keeping DHS at bay(for now)and providing OUR sheriffs the tools they need.

  2. print email
    September 04, 2014 | 02:04 PM

    Thank you Judge and Mrs Sanders for this donation, and thank you to Rod Seelye for thinking outside of the box!

  3. print email
    September 07, 2014 | 01:04 PM

    What an amazing sacrifice for our county! Thank you Judge and Sue Sanders.

    Steve W.
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