Chesterton Tribune



CPD Officer Aaron Miersma leads county in OWI arrests

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Porter County’s No. 1 OWI enforcement officer in 2016 is a member of the Chesterton Police Department.

At the Police Commission’s meeting last week, Police Chief Dave Cincoski announced that Officer Aaron Miersma led all county officers last year--October 2015 through October 2016--with 38 arrests for operating while intoxicated. It was Miersma’s fourth consecutive year as well leading the CPD itself in OWI arrests.

Sgt. Antonio Alfaro had the second most OWI arrests on the CPD last year: 11.

Miersma and Alfaro were honored in December at the Porter County Drunk Driving Task Force’s annual breakfast.

Also honored at the event were Cpl. John Carnahan and Cpl. Jamie Copollo, who both received the Phoenix Award, presented by Coroner Chuck Harris to officers who saved the life of a heroin or opioid overdose victim through use of their department-issued Narcan anti-opioid rescue kits.

Carnahan and Coppolo each saved one person’s life.

Cincoski joined the commission in congratulating Miersma, Alfaro, Carnahan, and Copollo for their professionalism, dedication, and outstanding service to the community.

Hiring Update

In other business, Cincoski reported that there are currently 13 active candidates for the position of officer who are now in the background investigation phase of the hiring process.

At the commission’s February meeting, Cincoski said, executive sessions will be scheduled to interview the shortlisted candidates.

Two openings in the CPD are immediate: one going back to the resignation in 2014 of Cpl. Fernando Dominguez, who took a position in a Florida department; and a second, going back only to Jan. 8, with the resignation of Officer Troy Allen, who has accepted a position with the Lake Station PD.

Allen has been a member of the CPD for almost seven years.

Cincoski noted that budget constraints in the years after Dominguez’s resignation precluded new hires.

Accepted, with Gratitude

Meanwhile, the commission gratefuly accepted Darlene Manuzzi’s donation of $500 to the CPD Gift Fund.

In a card accompanying the unrestricted donation, Manuzzi thanked the officers of the CPD “for all you do for the people of Chesterton.”

Cincoski told the commission that he has deposited the donation in the Gift Fund and on behalf of the department sent Manuzzi a card of thanks.

Squad Car Request


The commission voted unanimously to authorize Cincoski to seek the Town Council’s permission to go out to bid for this year’s fleet purchase.

Cincoski told members that he hopes to purchase at least three new vehicles, possibly four.

All fleet purchases are made with moneys from Cumulative Capital Development, funded through a dedicated property-tax rate and used exclusively for the acquisition of emergency vehicles.

Carnahan’s Promotion

Made Permanent

The commission also voted unanimously to make Cpl. John Carnahan’s promotion permanent, following his six-month probationary period in the rank.

“I’ve had nothing but glowing recommendation from Cpl. Carnahan’s superiors,” Cincoski noted.

2017 Officers Elected

The commission voted unanimously as well to elect Member Pete Duda president for 2017, Mike Orlich vice-president, and newly appointed Member Tim Scheerer secretary.

Orlich took a moment at the end of the meeting to express his gratitude to former member Alex Rodriguez for his previous service on the commission. “Alex did an exemplary job,” he said.

Orlich also welcomed Scheerer aboard. “You’ll be an asset,” he told him.

CPD Reserves

In addition, Cincoski provided a summary of the service hours worked by the CPD Reserves in 2016. Sgt. Dale Plughaupt worked a total of 139.5 hours last year (career hours 10,513.5); Lt. John Schnadenberg, 124 hours (8,615); Officer Jeff Ton, 48.5 hours (48.5); Officer Ron Kelley, 48 (1,039.6); and Officer Don Vanderploeg, 12 (12).

December in Review

The CPD responded to 624 calls in December (721 in November), filed 60 cases (70), issued 24 citations and 29 warnings (82 and 116), and investigated 44 accidents with five injuries (29 accidents with two injuries).

Calls for service in November included three reports of shoplifting (three in November), 90 suspicious vehicles or persons (84), 14 thefts (eight), 50 alarms (47), nine incidents of vandalism (three), four overdoses (two), two animal complaints (three), 95 traffic stops (248), 14 well-being checks (15), one missing person (two), three reports of battery (seven), 29 disturbances (25), one hunting complaint (zero), one report of forgery (zero), five reports of fraud (seven), one robbery (one), one runaway (two), and two reports of a sex offense (two).





Posted 1/17/2017




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