Porter County’s No.
1 OWI enforcement officer in 2016 is a member of the Chesterton Police
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
commission gratefuly accepted Darlene Manuzzi’s donation of $500 to the CPD
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
voted unanimously to authorize Cincoski to seek the Town Council’s
permission to go out to bid for this year’s fleet purchase.
members that he hopes to purchase at least three new vehicles, possibly
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
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.
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.
welcomed Scheerer aboard. “You’ll be an asset,” he told him.
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).