For more than six
years, the Chesterton Police Departmentís K-9 partner, Kahr, has been
faithfully serving the townís citizens.
however, Officer Erik Herbert, is expected to resign his position later this
year to accept a job with another department, and that PD is not interested
in acquiring Kahrís services.
So Police Chief
Dave Cincoski, as he reported to the Police Commission at its meeting last
week, will formally ask the Town Council tonight for authorization to retire
Kahr to Herbertís care.
Cincoski noted that
it wouldnít make financial sense to train another officer to be Kahrís
handler, particularly as Kahr is 7 years old. German shepherds attached to
law enforcement agencies typically have an active-service longevity of six
to seven years. Thatís partly due to the rigors of the job and partly to the
genetics of the breed.
surgery in October 2015 to repair a hernia. He later returned to duty after
a convalescence of about three months.
If the council
approves Cincoskiís request, the CPD will be without a K-9 unit for the
first time since 2010. The departmentís other K-9 partner, Igor, was retired
to the care of his handler, Sgt. Dan Rocha, last year in October, after he
was diagnosed with arthritis. Igor suffered a grievous training injury in
November 2014, breaking a leg in a freak accident, but after surgery and a
long recovery he too returned to service.
Cincoski was unable
to say when the CPD might re-up its K-9 program. At the moment only one of
his officers has expressed interest in becoming a handler but that officer
doesnít currently meet all of the qualifications, mostly pertaining to the
size of his home and yard.
In other business,
members agreed to hold an executive session at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 22,
for the purpose of interviewing a short list of 10 candidates for two open
and one soon-to-be open probationary-officer positions.
The first opening
goes back to 2014, when Cpl. Fernando Dominguez resigned to take a position
in a Florida department. This opening was briefly filled in July 2016, with
the hiring of Sean Grubbs, who, however, subsequently resigned.
The second opening
goes back only to January, when Officer Troy Allen accepted a position with
the Lake Station PD. The third opening is pending, with Officer Erik
Herbertís anticipated resignation.
Each of the 10
candidates will be interviewed for 15 minutes. The top three candidates will
be made conditional offers of employment, Cincoski said.
New Crossing Guard
at Bailly Elementary
In other business,
and on Cincoskiís recommendation, members voted unanimously to hire
Chesterton resident Allen Novreske as the new crossing guard at Bailly
Elementary School at 800 S. Fifth St.
former CPD chief George Nelson, who served as the crossing guard at Bailly
following his retirement from the CPD in 2010.
Novreske is a
20-year veteran of the U.S. Army and a retiree from a local manufacturer.
Also on Cincoskiís
recommendation, members voted to promote Jessica Holaway from part-time
Communications Clerk II to I.
January in Review
The CPD responded
to 777 calls in January (624 in December), filed 74 cases (60), issued 70
citations and 107 warnings (24 and 29), and investigated 33 accidents with
six injuries (44 accidents with five injuries).
Calls for service
in January included two reports of shoplifting (three in December), 88
suspicious vehicles or persons (90), 10 thefts (14), 27 alarms (50), six
reports of vandalism (nine), six overdoses (four), one animal complaint
(two), 266 traffic stops (95), 18 well-being checks (14), one missing person
(one), one attempted burglary (zero), four burglaries (zero), eight reports
of battery (three), two reports of child abuse (zero), 19 disturbances (29),
three reports of forgery or counterfeiting (one), two reports of fraud
(five), one motor vehicle theft (zero), and one runaway (one).