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May 20, 2013

Galveston residents seeing double

Identical twins on police force.

GALVESTON — Though Shawn Durham followed his brother Shane into this world, Shane followed Shawn into a career as a police officer.

The identical twins recently joined the Galveston police force, Shawn as town marshal and Shane as a full-time deputy.

Shawn and Shane, 35, took different paths in their careers, though this isn’t the first time the two have served in the same department.

“I always wanted to be in law enforcement,” Shane said. “When I was younger I wanted to be a juvenile officer.”

Shane went to work for the Indiana Department of Corrections in 2000 — working at the Miami Correctional Facility.

“The opportunity came in Bunker Hill as a part-time deputy,” he said. “I had the chance to go to the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy and be a full-time officer. What little kid doesn’t want to be a police officer?”

Shawn said he first became interested in a law enforcement when a school resource officer at Kokomo High School said he would make a good police officer.

“When the reserve officer opportunity came at Bunker Hill, I thought it would be cool,” he said. “I fell into this opportunity in July and fell into the opportunity at Bunker Hill.”

When Bunker Hill dismantled the full-time police force because of budget constraints, Shawn became an officer in Galveston. His brother, Shane, was not looking for a full-time position with the department but the town board asked if he would be interested in the job.

It should be no surprise the two brothers have been mistaken for one another several times while on duty.

“We get mistaken for each other all the time,” Shawn said. “It seems like every time I turned around someone was asking about the prison. Sometimes, I just played along with it.”

Shane said while with the Bunker Hill department, he pulled someone over and they commented he had just pulled them over the other day.

“No it wasn’t me, it might have been my brother,” Shane smiled.

Shawn said there are rare times when both brothers are on the same call and it confuses people.

Both brothers said they like working in a smaller community, having grown up in Kokomo.

“When I got here in July, I didn’t know a lot of people in town,” Shawn said. “Not growing up here has its advantages because you don’t know everyone. There are disadvantages because there is always a good ‘ole boy’ system.”

Shawn said the town has been welcoming, adding there is a small town mentality, but that it doesn’t feel like that to him.

“I love working in the small towns,” Shane said. “There is the small town atmosphere, you get to know everybody. The gratitude is better in a small town when you help someone.”

The identical twins indicated they would both be content to retire from the Galveston Police Department someday.

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