The Southside has lost a friend and advocate with the passing of Indiana State Sen. Jack E. Sandlin.
Sandlin, 72, passed away Sept. 20, leaving behind a legacy of elected service from the smallest to the biggest stages in Indiana. He was known throughout the Southside as an advocate for law enforcement, thoughtful legislation, a mentor to those in law enforcement and government, devoted to family, a tireless worker, and a dear friend of The Southsider Voice. He was always available to us for personal and behind-the-scenes political and community advice throughout his career. Our friend will be deeply missed.
A memorial service will be conducted Friday at noon, following visitation at 9 a.m., in the Rotunda and North Atrium of the Indiana Statehouse, 200 W. Washington St. Visitation is 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday at G.H. Hermann Funeral Home, 5141 Madison Ave.
He was the son of Lewis and Betty Sandlin. He was a graduate of Greenwood Community High School (1969), the University of Indianapolis, and Indiana Wesleyan University.
He sought a career in law enforcement and joined the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) and served in the U.S. Army as a military police officer. He was with IMPD for over 23 years and retired in 1993 as deputy chief of investigations. He opened a small private investigative office, specializing in fraud probes and security consultations. He also served the Southport Police Department for 14 years. He also served as a Reserve Deputy with the Johnson County Sheriff’s Department. He was the Perry Township Trustee from 1997 to 2006, his first venture in elected public service. He was elected and served on the Indianapolis City-County Council from 2010 through 2016, mostly during Mayor Greg Ballard’s tenure.
Sandlin was first elected to the Indiana State Senate in 2016, representing District 36 that covers a portion of southern Marion County and northern Johnson County. He won reelection in 2020. His proposals in front of the City-County Council and the Indiana Senate were well-researched and enhanced bipartisan support.
Significantly, Sandlin was a respected mentor to law enforcement authorities and to several legislators. He was accessible and responsive to his constituency.
Active on the Southside, he served on the boards of the Perry Township Historical Society, Central Indiana Youth for Christ, and Perry Senior Services. He was a member of Southport Presbyterian Church and most recently Hanover Baptist Church near Madison.
Sandlin is survived by wife Lydia of 49 years, daughter Carrie, and three grandchildren.
His final resting place will be at the Indiana Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Madison with a graveside ceremony at 10 a.m. Saturday.
The depth of his impact from Southport and Greenwood to the Indiana Statehouse was immediately expressed:
” We will continue to honor his memory by working diligently to ensure the safety and well-being of our residents.” – Southport Police Department
”Jack was always fair, always willing to give the shirt off his back to anyone, and always the definition of a public servant.” – Mark Myers, Greenwood Mayor
“While we will miss everything about Jack, especially his infectious smile and his desire to make our community better, we will take comfort in knowing that Jack made this world a better place, and we are better for having worked with him.” – City-County Council Republican Caucus
“Senator Jack Sandlin was a gentleman who devoted his life to serving others, in public safety on the front lines and in our State Senate. His clear voice and integrity will be missed.” – Eric Holcomb, Indiana Governor
”The Southside of Indianapolis and the entire State of Indiana have lost a giant … Jack Sandlin’s life can be described by one word, service.” – Paul Annee, City-County Council
”Well done, Jack. You served with distinction and left a wonderful legacy.” – Mike Speedy, State Representative