Sterling announced as next chief of Carmel Police Department 


Carmel Mayor Sue Finkam announced Feb. 15 that Drake Sterling has been selected as the next chief of the Carmel Police Department. He will assume the role Feb. 29.

Sterling is a captain with the Zionsville Police Department and assistant SWAT commander for the Boone County Special Response Team.

“Drake is a one-of-a-kind leader in law enforcement as evidenced by recognition from his peers for excellence and devotion to duty. I greatly appreciate his enthusiastic leadership and desire to build a positive culture,” Finkam said. “Leading what I believe to be the best police department in the country, taking care of those who wear the uniform and working closely with me as we keep public safety the top priority, is a position that Drake is well-suited for, and I am delighted to have him join our leadership team.”

Through his various roles with ZPD, Sterling oversaw community outreach, patrol, investigations, training, budgeting, fleet management, contracts and hiring. He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy in Quantico, holds a graduate certificate in criminal justice from University of Virginia and is a graduate of the Public Service Leadership Institute and the Indiana Police Chief Training Program. He is also a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police.

“Carmel is a city on the move, and I look forward to providing strong collaboration and leadership for the police officers and citizens of this community as we advance Mayor Finkam’s vision,” Sterling said.     “Leadership is challenging. We must be willing to meet people, both our employees and the citizens we serve, where they are at. We must do so with humility, patience, and respect for our differences. My leadership philosophy is rooted in three principles: establishing expectations, investing in people and empowerment.”

A public swearing-in ceremony for Sterling will be held March 12. Details will be announced at a later date.

Sterling replaces retiring CPD Chief Jim Barlow.