A Chesterton Police
Department dispatcher has been commended for her professionalism, following
the theft of a Town of Chesterton municipal vehicle late last month.
At the Police
Commission’s meeting Thursday evening, Police Chief Dave Cincoski presented
Dispatcher Mary Conder with a certificate of commendation “for taking quick
and immediate action without direction that led to an expeditious resolution
to a case which otherwise would have required a lengthy investigation.”
for the commendation was Sgt. Dave Virijevich, who was in the thick of
things early in the evening of Nov. 27, when the CPD received two “seemingly
separate calls”: one reporting a disturbance involving a teen on Chesterton
Blvd.; the other, the theft of a Chesterton Utility vehicle, inside of which
were several pieces of expensive equipment.
Virijevich noted in an e-mail to Cincoski, “is quite familiar to us” and has
a history of both auto theft and resisting law enforcement. “It seemed like
the two calls might be related since it was reported that the teenage boy
stormed out of the house and a car was stolen at about the same time.”
At that point,
Conder--who is also acquainted with the boy through previous contacts with
officers--dug into CPD records and found two addresses in Lake Station which
he’s known to frequent. Conder then promptly contacted the Lake County 911
Center and asked a dispatcher there to forward those addresses as well as a
description of the stolen vehicle to the Lake Station PD.
coincidentally, to the Lake County dispatch, was former CPD Officer Troy
Allen, now with the Lake Station PD, who--again coincidentally--“happened to
be right behind” the stolen vehicle when he received the dispatch. Allen
executed a traffic stop on the vehicle, being driven by the teen suspect,
who stated, without being prompted, “that he shouldn’t have stolen” it.
“There is no doubt
that Dispatcher Conder’s quick thinking and decisive action led to the
arrest of an exceptionally clear suspect in a major crime and to the
recovery of a town vehicle,” Virijevich concluded his e-mail.
“the unsung heroes of the department,” Member Mike Orlich said, in thanking
Conder for her actions. “You’re a voice in the distance and an important
link in the chain.”
OWI Arrests and
Also honored at
Thursday’s meeting were Officer Aaron Miersma, who once again led the CPD in
OWI arrests this year; and Cpl. Nick Christian, who saved two lives in 2017
by administering doses of Narcan to suspected opioid overdose victims.
Christian were both honored at the Porter County Substance Abuse Council’s
recent annual banquet.
Last year Miersma
led all county law enforcement officers with 38 OWI arrests. This year his
total was down somewhat--to 16--but that drop coincides with his having been
reassigned from night shift to day shift.
Christian, for his
part, was presented with the Phoenix Award by Porter County Coroner Chuck
Harris, for saving the two overdose victims’ lives.
longevity awards as well on Thursday, honoring six officers and dispatchers
for their years of service to the CPD and the town:
* Assistant Police
Chief Dave Lohse, 25 years.
* Officer Larry
Powell, 20 years.
Supervisor Ashley Taylor, 15 years.
* Dispatcher Chris
Baros, 10 years.
* Officer Miersma,
November in Review
In November the CPD
responded to 634 calls (736 in October), filed 63 cases (66), issued 64
citations and 59 warnings (61 and 72), and investigated 21 accidents with
four injuries (37 accidents with 11 injuries).
Calls for service
included one suicide (none in October), 77 suspicious vehicles or persons
(104), 12 thefts (10), 38 alarms (43), five incidents of vandalism (10), two
train complaints (one), two animal complaints (two), 220 traffic stops
(254), one missing person (zero), one report of battery (three), one
burglary (three), 24 disturbances (32), seven reports of fraud (seven), one
vehicle repossession (zero), and four runaways (three).