Over the last 10
years at least, raises for Town of Chesterton municipal employees have been
both irregular and very modest. Add to that fact this one: the wages paid to
Police Department employees in particular fall somewhere south of those paid
by other PDs not only in Northwest Indiana but across the state.
Those two facts
together, as Police Chief Dave Cincoski noted at Thursday evening’s meeting
of the Police Commission, have made it difficult not only to retain
experienced officers--two have left the department this year alone for
greener pastures--but also to recruit new candidates.
And with the
resignation last month of the CPD’s latest recruit--Ethan Krivek--the CPD is
once again looking to hire, and fast.
Given the exigency
of the situation, Cincoski put this proposal to the commission on Thursday:
an amendment to the CPD’s Rules and Regulations (R&R) establishing a
“lateral transfer position,” under which a hire with three years of service
as a full-time sworn officer with another department--and who has already
graduated from a law enforcement academy--would be immediately promoted to
1st Class officer after successfully completing a six-month probationary
hires must first complete probation--a six- to 12-month term--then serve at
least another 12 months as a 2nd Class officer (at $20.95 per hour) before
being eligible for promotion to 1st Class (at $21.98 per hour). Cincoski
said that he’s hopeful the quick bump under the lateral transfer position
amendment would be enough to expand the pool of interested applicants.
agreed and voted unanimously to adopt the new R&R. They also voted
unanimously to authorize Cincoski to seek the Town Council’s approval for an
amendment to the Personnel Policy Handbook, under which currently a new
municipal employee is not eligible for a week of vacation until after the
first full year of service, and not eligible for two weeks until after the
second full year. Cincoski hopes to persuade the council to amend that
policy, so that an officer hired in a lateral transfer position would be
eligible for two weeks of vacation after successfully completing the
New SOP on Beards
In other business,
Cincoski--formally recognizing the success of last year’s No-Shave November
and the early, still-bristly days of this year’s--asked the commission to
approve an amendment to the CPD’s R&R which would codify the wearing of
beards during the winter months.
Under that R&R,
full beards may be worn from Nov. 1 through March 31. At all times they must
be clean-shaven and not extend beyond one inch from the jaw line. And “If at
any time a supervising officer believes a beard to be unprofessional or
unclean in appearance, the officer will be given until the next duty shift
to correct the issue.”
Also under the R&R,
goatees--and goatees only--may be worn at any time during the year, so long
as they too are “professional in appearance and clean-shaven.” But no other
“partial facial hair styles will be allowed.”
Cincoski added that
No-Shave November proved a resounding success last year, that the beards
worn by officers have been “respectable and professional,” and that--not to
put too fine a point on it--beards will “assist with facial warmth and
comfort during the winter months.”
As for the goatee
allowance, Cincoski said, it “is in keeping with restrictions and allowances
offered by surrounding jurisdictions.”
unanimously to adopt the new R&R.
reported that the CPD will be receiving a $2,200 no-match grant from the
U.S. Department of Justice for the purchase of bulletproof vests.
That grant will
reimburse the department 50 percent of the cost of approximately five vests.
In response to an
inquiry from Member Pete Duda, Cincoski reported that Halloween on Tuesday,
Oct. 31, was for the most part uneventful, with the exception of two
incidents of spray-paint vandalism reported late in the afternoon.
trick-or-treat was a safe and quiet night for all involved,” Cincoski said.
October in Review
In October the CPD
responded to 736 calls (799 in September), filed 66 cases (65), issued 61
citations and 72 warnings (122 and 99), and investigated 37 accidents with
11 injuries (30 accidents with five injuries).
Calls for service
in October included 104 suspicious vehicles or person (99 in September), 10
thefts (seven), 43 alarms (42), 10 incidents of vandalism (four), one
railroad complaint (zero), two animal complaints (three), 254 traffic stops
(287), one attempted theft (zero), three reports of battery (four), three
burglaries (one), 32 disturbances (27), one report of counterfeit currency
(three), seven reports of fraud (eight), three runaways (two), and two
reports of a sex offense (zero).