Serve & Protect: Meet MCSO Deputy Shelby Curtis


Shelby Curtis always knew he wanted a career in public safety.

As a child he had a front row seat to the Crawfordsville Fire Department where his father was a career firefighter.

“He was always a driving force in my career choice,” Curtis said. “But I wanted something different, so I started applying for law enforcement jobs.”

In 2019, Curtis was hired as a patrol deputy with the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office. Since then, he has added field training officer to his resume.

As an FTO, he helps guide new recruits through the first year on the department. The process consists of four phases, including time spent at the academy.

“It takes just about a year to complete all the training,” Curtis said.

Curtis also is a volunteer with the Hillsboro Volunteer Fire Department; works as a deputy marshal for the town of Darlington; and helps farm.

The straight-A student and 2015 graduate of Fountain Central High School, said he was ready to leave the classroom behind, choosing to enter the workforce over college.

Curtis farmed full-time for a few years before pursuing a law enforcement career. He went on a few ride-alongs with officers to learn more about the job.

“I know it sounds cliché, but I like helping people and this is a great job to do that,” he said.

The unknown that comes with every shift also was enticing.

“I like the vast and different things you can do and experience,” Curtis said.

Working 12-hour shifts gives deputies plenty of opportunities to encounter variety.

“I enjoy the night work,” Curtis said. “It has a different call volume ... I can honestly say I meet someone new every night.”

He enjoys roaming the county on patrol or responding to calls.

“I like driving the back roads, the ones that are less traveled,” Curtis said. “We are county officers so that’s what people expect ... I’m not afraid to get the truck dirty.”

Curtis said he tends to focus on operating while intoxicated calls.

“It just goes to show there is a strong substance abuse problem in our county,” he said.

Curtis is accustomed to seeing both the good and bad while on duty, however, he remains highly satisfied with the work he performs.

“I enjoy my job. I like coming to work. I like the schedule and enjoy the camaraderie of my co-workers,” he said. “It’s nice to know the people you work with can be depended on and that they have your back.”

Curtis does not shy away from the first aid aspect of the job. He cites his experience with the volunteer fire department for making him more comfortable and confident in responding to bad calls or bad crashes.

In fact, Curtis received the Indiana Sheriff’s Association Life Saving Award for his actions in April 2021. Curtis was the first person to arrive on the scene of serious crash where a man’s leg had been severed. Curtis applied a tourniquet and stayed with the man until medics arrived.

Curtis is determined to continue serving the community he calls home. He hopes to stay with the sheriff’s office and work his way up to sergeant someday.

“I’m feel lucky to be working a small community,” he said. “Most everybody seems happy to see us, and thankful that we are here, and that’s a good feeling.”

When Curtis is not at work, he enjoys being outdoors, golfing or mowing the yard, and cheering on the St. Louis Cardinals. He also likes to fish and hunt turkey. He and a high school friend make the trek to Nebraska each spring to hunt. He also enjoys spending time with his family, which includes his parents and three younger siblings.