Chesterton Tribune

Chesterton Police Captain George Nelson retires after 38 years of service

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Get an old copper talking, he’ll tell you war stories.

Funny ones, sad ones, horrific ones, many of them unrepeatable in mixed company.

Here’s a repeatable one, from Capt. George Nelson of the Chesterton Police Department.

Back in the day, the land on which the Annabelle Court apartments were built—just west of 19th Street and north of West Porter Ave.—used to be a horse pasture. An escapable horse pasture, as it happens, from which the nags tended to wander.

One day Nelson gets a call to wrangle a loose horse and duly does so, lassoing it, then tethering it to a fire hydrant on 18th Street.

So the horse’s owner comes up to him and asks Nelson how in the world he made the arrest. “‘Pretty simple,’ Nelson tells the guy. ‘Someone gave me an apple and I offered it to the horse. When the horse bent for it, I threw the lasso over its neck.’”

“‘Well, you’re lucky to still have your fingers,’ the guy tells Nelson. ‘That’s the meanest, bitingest horse I’ve ever known.’”

On Friday—after more than 38 years with the CPD, nearly 20 of them as Chief of Police—Nelson retired and was honored with a party thrown by the town at the Fire Department.

Nelson began his service in the summer of 1973 and quickly established a reputation for himself as an excellent juvenile officer, for which he was honored in 1986 with the Marilyn Niequest Award. A year later, in 1987, he was also honored by the Indiana Coalition against Sexual Assault. Nelson was the first recipient of the CPD Officer of the Year award, in 1989—the same year in which he addressed the Indiana Correction Association on the issue of cult involvement—and in 1990 was named Chief of Police, a position he held until stepping down in 2010.

“Capt. Nelson served the CPD for nearly 40 years,” Police Chief Dave Cincoski told the Chesterton Tribune. “If you thought about the Chesterton PD over that time, you always associated it with George Nelson. He dedicated a life of service to the department and the community and for that I’m grateful. He gave me some big shoes to fill. I feel honored and privileged to have served under him. Under his tenure I was hired. Under my tenure I get to honor him with retirement.”

Cincoski presented Nelson with a plaque, a presentation badge, and his service sidearm.

“It’s been about four decades of seeing this town grow in a very good way,” Nelson said. “I’m very happy and proud to have been part of it.”


 Posted 4/30/2012