Chesterton Tribune



Chesterton Police report on expanded outreach to schools

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So what do Chesterton Police officers do on their lunch breaks?

There’s a good chance they’re stopping by one of the schools in town--Bailly Elementary, Westchester Intermediate, or the Middle or High school--to spend time with the students.

At the Police Commission’s meeting last week, Police Chief Dave Cincoski reported that last year he began asking all officers on the day shift “to try to make daily contact with the schools.”

Cincoski’s calling it his Public Relations initiative and so far it looks to be a huge hit, at least with the teachers.

WIS Principal Shawn Longacre has already expressed his gratitude to the CPD for the time officers have spent in the halls, at lunch, at lock-ins.

Now so too have the kindergarten teachers at Bailly, in a recent note to Cincoski: “Thank you for all of the support your department has given to Bailly School and the kindergarten classes. We have had you in to read to our classes, your have provided support at our Mother’s Day brunch, and have created a positive relationship with our kindergarten students. Thank you for all you have done.”

Last year CPD officers participated in 618 P.R. events, according to the CPD’s 2013 report. In this past May alone, they participated in 66 such events.

The P.R. initiative, Cincoski noted in his end-of-the-year report, “has blossomed into more than I ever hope, with officers participating in sporting event practices and workouts, being on the sidelines welcoming the teams at the start of games, visiting choir and band competitions, and doing newspaper and radio cameos at the high school.”

“I believe this has fostered a positive image and relationship with that specific segment of our population that extends beyond our jurisdictional boundaries, as many students live outside our town, and for the future,” Cincoski added.

“I cannot say enough the praise I have for this program and the recognition of all the officers who have wholeheartedly accepted and participated in this program,” Cincoski said. “I would not have been able to pull this off by myself and am proud that it has been embraced by our staff, our schools, and our community.”

Merger Update

In other business, Cincoski reported that the merger of the CPD’s and Porter Police Department’s dispatch functions on May 28 has been completed.

“For the most part, things have gone pretty well,” he said. “Pretty seamless, as far as the public is concerned.”

For the officers themselves, Cincoski conceded, “radio was an issue that day. The executive decision was made to use the Porter PD’s radio frequency, as the CPD’s car were programmed wrong. The problem was fixed quickly.”

There were also a “few perimeter issues” which persisted a couple of days beyond May 28, none of which affected police services, Cincoski noted. Those have been resolved.

Cincoski did say all CPD officers are working hard to accustom themselves to the new software platform, Tiburon. “It’s tough to get adjusted to. It’s quite different from what they’re used to.”

Meanwhile, the consolidation of the two PDs’ detective bureaus is working very well, as PPD Det. Mike Veal is now working alongside the CPD’s investigators. “It’s been a very good experience,” Cincoski said.


Posted 6/18/2014