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
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,”
“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.”
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.