Chesterton Tribune



Chesterton Police crash statistics show what day and when in a day to be careful driving

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If you’re a Chesterton motorist, what day of the week and what time of that day should you really try hard to avoid being on the road?

That’s easy: Friday at 3 p.m, according to statistics distributed by Police Chief Dave Cincoski at Thursday’s meeting of the Police Commission.

It’s easy because MS4 Operator and the town’s all-purpose, ever-eager data guru Jennifer Gadzala analyzed all crashes investigated by the Police Department from January 2018 to April 2020. For the record, that’s 829 accidents over 28 months and from them Gadzala has plucked some interesting if not necessarily surprising trends.

By a country mile Friday is the most accident-prone day of the week in Chesterton, with 161 or 13 percent more crashes than the second most prone day: Wednesday, with 142. That makes sense, with a lot of out-of-towners passing through Chesterton on their way to Michigan or elsewhere, fueling up or chowing down on Indian Boundary Road.

By the same token, the hour between 3 and 4 p.m. is the most likely time of the day for an accident to occur, with CHS letting out; followed by the hour between 2 and 3 p.m., as parents converge on the elementary, intermediate, and middle schools to pick up their children (100).

The safest days to drive: Sunday (with 71 total crashes); Saturday (81); Tuesday (117); Monday (128); and Thursday (129).

Also not surprisingly, crashes spike during the morning commute, between 7 and 8 a.m (60); again at lunch, in the three hours between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. (211); and during the late afternoon commute, between 5 and 6 p.m. (91).

The wee hours between midnight and 6 a.m. are the safest time to drive (with 52 total crashes).

As Cincoski noted, Gadzala’s number-crunching has practical applications, as it suggests when exactly officers on patrol need to be particularly vigilant for bad driving behaviors.

Cincoski added that Gadzala is also working on plotting the most accident-prone locations, which information he’ll make available to the commission when she’s finished compiling it.

To the CPD, with Gratitude

In other business, representing the Indiana Patriot Guard, Stephanie Santaquilani was in attendance on Thursday to ask Cincoski whether he found the angel crest medallion mounted to a plaque which she left in the CPD lobby at the commission’s last meeting, which in fact was a virtual meeting held on Zoom. Santaquilani, not knowing that at the time, told Cincoski that she waited outside the meeting room for two hours until forced to give up.

Cincoski told Santaqulani that he had indeed found the mounted medallion, that he appreciated the gesture very much, and that he has hung the plaque on the wall of the patrol room. Members, for their part, expressed their deep gratitude to Santaquilani for her support.

“It’s a positive symbol of your unit and how you relate to your community,” Santaquilani said.

There’ve been other tokens of appreciation over the last month as well:

*  A note from the Asbury Family: “Thanks for all you do! During a time of uncertainty and negativity your hard work and dedication have not gone unnoticed. Thanks!”

*  A note from Centier Bank along with a donation of food: “Thank you for all you do! We appreciate you protecting and serving our community!”

*  A donation of $100 to the CPD Gift Fund from Sandrick Law Firm LLL, as part of Chesterton Brewery’s Charity of the Month program.

*  A donation of donuts from the Salvation Army to mark National Donut Day, June 5, which which started in 1938 in Chicago as a tribute to the Salvation Army’s “Doughnut Lassies” who support the Doughboys on the front lines in World War I.

*  And the Computer Education Institute’s donation of breakfast from Third Coast Spice Cafe and of lunch from Ivy’s Bohemia House.

Cincoski and the commission thanked all of them for their generosity and community-mindedness.


Meanwhile, members voted unanimously to endorse a number of amended standard operating procedures and one new SOP.

Several are of note. One establishes protocols for various types of warrant service--blood, search, and arrest--including “high risk warrant operations”: those that are likely to represent higher risks than are commonly faced by officers on a daily basis, including fortified locations, reason risk of violence or confrontation with multiple persons, or reason to suspect that persons anticipate the operation.”

Another establishes protocols for the circumstances under which the Porter County SWAT Team would be requested to respond to a scene; as well as the CPD’s own responsibilities at the scene during and after the critical incident.

A third is a brand-new SOP pertaining to animal control and complaints. Although Porter County Animal Control typically responds to incidents involving animals, the SOP outlines officers’ responsibilities when Animal Control is unavailable to deal with strays, bites or attacks, public nuisances, and injured or diseased animals. For the sake of thoroughness, it also defines “chicken.”

Noise Ordinance

Members agreed by consensus, at Cincoski’s request, to authorize him to work with legal in the promulgation of a noise ordinance.

Cincoski said that he should have that ordinance in draft form by the time of the commission’s next meeting, July 9.

Bulletproof Vest Grant

Cincoski reported that he has applied for a U.S. Department of Justice bulletproof vest grant for a maximum amount of $2,926 in reimbursement.

The grant would reimburse the CPD for half the cost of a vest.

Under state law, law enforcement agencies must provide bulletproof vests to all sworn officers, but vests are warrantied for only five years, at which time they must be replaced.

Executive Session

Members agreed to schedule an executive session for 4 p.m. July 14 for the purpose of interviewing candidates for the position of patrol officer.

Cincoski said that each interview will last 30 minutes and that he expects a maximum of 10 candidates will be interviewed.

Last Thought

Member Pete Duda took a moment at the end of the meeting to plead for healing in these troubled days. “These are truly trying and unfortunate times we’re living through,” he said. “And I would hope people will join me and pray for the peace of this country.”

May in Review

The CPD responded to 751 calls in May (543 in April), filed 72 cases (46), issued 34 citations and 52 warnings (14 and 7), and investigated 23 accidents with four injuries (11 accidents with two injuries).

Calls for service last month included one report of shoplifting (one in April), 118 suspicious vehicles or persons (71), 28 alarms (18), five incidents of vandalism (none), two overdoses (none), nine animal complaints (four), 98 traffic stops (12), 18 well-being checks (21), one missing person (none), two reports of battery (six), 38 disturbances (none), eight reports of fraud (three), one report of a sex crime (one), and two runaways (five).


Posted 6/15/2020




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