Chesterton Tribune



CPD Dispatcher Mary Conder commended for professionalism

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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.”

Recommending her 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.

The teen, 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.

Responding, 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.

Dispatchers are “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 Phoenix Award

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.

Miersma and 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

Cincoski presented 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.

* Communications Supervisor Ashley Taylor, 15 years.

* Dispatcher Chris Baros, 10 years.

* Officer Miersma, five years.

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).



Posted 12/15/2017




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