A Portage Life in the Spotlight: Brenden Vaupel

A Portage Life in the Spotlight: Brenden Vaupel

Brenden Vaupel, a graduate of the Northwest Indiana Law Enforcement Academy (NILEA), worked hard to pass a series of physical and mental training courses. He is now a proud police officer within the Portage Police Department Patrol Division working to protect the community.

“What made me decide upon that kind of career is a good question,” said Vaupel. “A lot of my friends went through the process. I thought, ‘Why not give it a try?’ I like the schedule. You get a lot of free time. You can be as busy as you want to be when you’re working.” 

Vaupel, a native of Crown Point, began his work in law enforcement in July of 2023 at the age of 23. Following high school, Vaupel chose to take on the physical and academic rigors that come with the high demands of preparing for a career in law enforcement. 

“The academy is a mixture of classwork and hands-on training,” said Vaupel. “There is physical training three times a week, which we would have to get to an hour early. We would run and do push-ups. We would do all kinds of different exercises. They would try to kill you, but I would say it was a good time. We learned a lot, and the instructors were all pretty knowledgeable.” 

Vaupel completed his basic training with his NILEA recruit class on November 17, 2023. The graduation ceremony, held at Valparaiso University, recognized the hard work of Vaupel and other fellow recruits. In reflecting on his trials, he has a lot of positive memories with the police academy. 

“My favorite part of the academy was the driving portion,” said Vaupel. “We would go down to the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy in Plainfield. They basically have a racetrack there, and we would get to drive on it for almost a whole week.”

In his current role, Vaupel delegates his time to a variety of duties that shift from day-to-day. 

“I have to get to the station for curfew,” said Vaupel. “Once there, I get assigned to one of four different areas of the city. After that, I drive around and wait for calls. Sometimes it is slow and I will make some traffic stops. Other times, the work is all day. I like to stay busy. It makes the time go by faster.”   

Though Vaupel felt encouraged by his friends to pursue police work, he also drew inspiration from his older brother, Jeremy Plummer. Plummer, who suffered from drug addiction, has been clean for the past 10 years. Plummer moved to Florida to focus on building up a recovery-centered organization dedicated to helping others achieve sobriety through fitness programs. The selfless act of helping others spoke volumes to Vaupel. Vaupel now chooses to channel his time in serving Portage.       

“I had applied to work in Portage because I really did not know a lot of people out there and I did not want to run into people I knew,” said Vaupel. “Yet, as weird as it worked out, I still run into people I know. I do like the area. I love being up by the lake, and I spend a lot of time at the beach during the summer.” 

Working in Portage offers Vaupel plenty of hands-on experiences that continue to broaden his wisdom. He thrives in the endless learning atmosphere that encompasses police work. 

“There is so much to learn in this job,” said Vaupel. “I don’t think many people realize how much they’re going to learn through the academy or on the job. People think you just go there and then you’re automatically working, but the reality is crazy. Every day is different. It’s always a learning curve, even for those of us who have been there for ten years.” 

Outside of his career in law enforcement, Vaupel enjoys spending time with his friends. He has a great affinity for cars and often goes racing or to automotive events. He is very committed to going to the gym every day. He is also most excited to go visit the Grand Canyon this year.