Law Enforcement: A Family Affair
Writer / Rebecca Wood Photography / JJ Kaplan
On Father’s Day, we celebrate the special dads in our lives and honor the men who lovingly invest in the next generation. It’s an opportunity to express our affection and adoration.
With an endless list of great fathers in the community, finding just a few to recognize proved to be a difficult task. But the fathers who are members of the Zionsville Police Department have earned our accolades for both their contributions to the community and at home.
For two members of the Zionsville Police Department, law enforcement is a family business. Both men have sons who have followed in their professional footsteps. A third Zionsville police officer balances his role as an active member of the force and a father to four young children.
In honor of Father’s Day, we want to recognize these exemplary local fathers in uniform.
Robert Musgrave, Captain of the Uniformed Services Division
Ryan Musgrave vividly remembers waiting for his father to finish a shift with the Zionsville Police Department. Once his dad arrived home, Ryan peppered him with questions about the goings-on at work. He fondly recalls other days when his father picked him up in his police cruiser and let him fiddle with the microphone.
What really left a lasting impression on Ryan was how he saw his father treat others. “Through the years, as I understood my dad’s job, I began to realize it’s not just a job,” Ryan says. “My dad had a great passion for helping others and for making the community he grew up in a better place. He would always take time to talk to people on or off duty. I soon began to see my father as a hero, not just because he wore the badge, but because of how he treated and took time for others. He was always putting himself last!”
Ryan, a Patrol Sergeant with the Boone County Sheriff’s Department, considers his father to be the single biggest reason he entered into law enforcement. He touts his father’s patience, empathy and understanding of the plight of others as something Ryan aspires to emulate on his own job.
Ryan’s father, Captain Robert Musgrave, has served on the Zionsville Police Department for the last 40 years. His current role is Captain of the Uniformed Services Division.
Captain Musgrave is proud that his son has followed in his footsteps. He praises his son’s professionalism and excellent work. “He excels at everything he does. He is so much better at this than I ever could be. It is a bit scary as a parent, but I know that he is conscientious of duties,” Captain Musgrave proclaims.
Throughout his many years in the department, Captain Musgrave says the only consistent part of his job is the start time. He affirms that the variety of calls make the job interesting. Visiting with people is his favorite part of his work day. “I just appreciate the opportunity to serve in this capacity and community,” Captain Musgrave asserts. “We are truly blessed to live in Zionsville, especially in today’s world. I believe we have a community of great people.”
Captain Musgrave has been married to his wife, Theresa, for the last 13 years. They are a blended family with four grown children and 14 grandchildren. Captain Musgrave hopes his family is proud of how he’s served with the Zionsville Police Department.
“They understand the risk and fortunately have seen many of the rewards as well,” Captain Musgrave states. “As a husband, father and grandfather, I am so lucky to have a beautiful, caring and loving wife. We are so blessed to have good hard-working children that have turned into great parents.”
Ryan offers the final word on his father. “To become half the man my father is would be an honor and a milestone! He has been an amazing father, mentor and, most of all, my best friend. I will strive to instill the morals and ethics my father taught me into my family and others in our community.”
Robert Knox, Chief of Police for the Zionsville Police Department
Justin Knox also holds childhood memories of his father’s role at the Zionsville Police Department. From an early age, he remembers being at the police station and interacting with the officers. “I was always made to feel part of the team, even when I was young,” Justin recalls.
Justin is a police officer with the Lebanon Police Department. From his childhood observations, he gleaned a better understanding of the positive and negative aspects of the job.
For Justin, law enforcement is in his blood. He is a third-generation police officer. Justin’s father is Robert Knox, Chief of Police for the Zionsville Police Department. His grandfather served in the military police.
Chief Knox believes being raised in a family of law enforcement officers helped his son gain a better understanding of the job. “Our son has grown up in the law enforcement family. While he was young and growing up, he was always around the job and the other officers,” Chief Knox states. “He would hear me talk about a lot of the aspects of the job and had a head start in knowing what the job entails and the time commitment.”
Chief Knox acknowledges that his son witnessed the joys and struggles of working in law enforcement. Once Chief Knox became a father, he found the time commitment between work and family life to be a challenge. He has missed special family events due to the demands of his job.
Justin witnessed the dedication that his father put into his work. He admires his father’s commitment to doing his job to the best of his ability, even if that meant putting his private life on hold at times.
On average, Chief Knox clocks eight to 12 hour days, but he claims no two days are ever the same. Like Musgrave, his favorite part of the job is interacting with the community.
Chief Knox and his wife, Karin, just celebrated their 37th wedding anniversary. “I have been so blessed to have a wonderful, supportive wife and son and to be able to serve in Zionsville, a community that I love,” Chief Knox says.
Chief Knox hopes his family sees him as a loving and caring father, a policeman of integrity and someone who really cares for people.
Justin sings his father’s praises. “My parents have always been there for me and were very supportive when I chose to get into law enforcement. I couldn’t ask for a better role model for this job than my dad.”
Bryan Sauer, Lieutenant for the Uniformed Services Division
Frequently, one of Bryan Sauer’s young sons can be spotted wearing a holster with a wooden gun clipped into the belt. He also carries a two-way radio, a gift from his grandfather. When asked, he expresses a desire to follow in his father’s footsteps and enter into law enforcement.
Bryan, Lieutenant for the Uniformed Services Division for the Zionsville Police Department, knows his kids are proud of him and demonstrate respect for his profession. But juggling the demands of being a husband, a father to four young sons and a law enforcement officer is no easy task. He says the biggest challenge to balancing work and home is time.
“We work long and odd hours sometimes and can be called in at the drop of a hat,” states Sauer. “The times we are needed in town are sometimes the same times our families really need us (tornados, power outages, etc.). I work sometimes during rec soccer games and other weekend family events, and taking time off is not always an option.”
But Sauer believes the benefits with his job outweighs any negatives. He loves the variety and says his daily responsibilities could include both minor and major calls. As part of the bicycle patrol team, he could be out monitoring the trails or parks. In his role as an instructor, he will be teaching some days.
Sauer admits that being a parent can impact any law enforcement officer. “When that serious call comes out, and we are racing to the scene, one of the things that can be on our minds is doing our best to make sure we make it home to the family. The other side of the coin is that there have been numerous calls I have been to where I could easily imagine the situation involving one of my children. Sometimes those are the hardest to deal with,” Sauer admits.
Sauer hopes that his boys see him as an officer that helps people in the community. “I would like them to see me as firm, but fair, and courageous in the face of adversity,” Sauer asserts.