Patrolman Chris Blila prepares for his last patrol with the Brazil City Police Department Thursday morning.
Patrolman Chris Blila is leaving the Brazil City Police Department for a dream job that combines his love of medicine and law enforcement.
"It will be the best of both worlds for me," he said Thursday at a "good-bye" luncheon in the basement at City Hall. "I have applied to be one of seven uniformed officers of the U.S. Public Health Service stationed at the federal prison in Terre Haute."
Blila will be a registered nurse in the medical facility of the prison.
"I will be able to put my education to use for my family," he said.
Blila recently graduated cum-laude from Indiana State University with a bachelors degree in nursing. "Having a background in law enforcement will enable me to handle prisoners while they are in the medical facility."
Blila said his time at the Brazil City Police Department has been valuable training and allowed him to create lasting bonds of friendship with his fellow officers.
"This is a great bunch of guys, there's so much camaraderie. I've made a lot of friends here," he said. "This was a hard choice to make, but I'm trying to better myself and I'm grateful for all the support from these guys."
Police Chief Mark Loudermilk has watched Blila work toward his goal over the past few years.
"We wish him well in his new job," he said. "It's something he's wanted to do for a while."
Loudermilk is glad that Blila plans to be a reserve patrolman in the future.
"I can't do that right now, but after I'm settled in at the U.S. Public Health Service, I'll be back," he said.
Blila's last city patrol ended Thursday evening at 7:30 p.m. Because of the regular rotation of the schedule he will be off duty through his last day, which is July 23.
Loudermilk says the lengthy process of hiring a replacement for Blila has already begun and a new officer could be named to the force sometime in October.