USI approves new degree program

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — The University of Southern Indiana Board of Trustees has approved a new master’s degree in the College of Liberal Arts beginning next year. The Master of Arts in Criminal Justice program now moves to the Indiana Commission for Higher Education for approval.

“We are very excited the Board of Trustees has approved this new opportunity to pursue a graduate degree in criminal justice,” said Dr. James Beeby, dean of the College of Liberal Arts. “As the need for trained law enforcement officers continues to increase, this program, taught by exceptional and highly-credentialed faculty, will provide a flexible path to a master’s degree for all learners interested in entering and advancing in the criminal justice system.”

The program will be offered online with students needing 36 credit hours for completion. Classes will be held for eight weeks, with six terms offered per year along with rolling admission. The new program will be taught by the USI Criminal Justice Department, which also offers a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice and a minor. 

Students will have the option of choosing a two-year track or an accelerated, one-year track based on schedules. 


2 Columbus police officers arrested, facing charges of misconduct, ghost employment

COLUMBUS, Ind. (WISH) — Two Columbus police officers have been arrested on multiple charges including official misconduct and ghost employment.

According to Indiana State Police, Dan Meister and Ron May were arrested for allegedly working off-duty security jobs while also working on duty with the Columbus Police Department. An investigation into the officers began in November 2018 after a request was made by the Columbus Police Department.

Lt. Dan Meister and Sgt. Ron May allegedly worked overlapping shifts for both the police department and Columbus Regional Hospital between February 2015 and August 2018. The officers were paid by CPD and the hospital for the same hours worked on multiple occasions.

Meister had overlapped hours on 52 different occasions and May overlapped on 62 occasions, investigators say.

The investigation was turned over to a special prosecutor and arrest warrants were issued for the men on Friday. They were arrested Friday afternoon without incident and taken to the Bartholomew County Jail, police say.

Both officers are facing charges of official misconduct, ghost employment and theft.

May and Meister are expected to face initial hearings soon.

Information about how long they have worked with CPD was not immediately available.