Chesterton Tribune


Chesterton Police officer to deploy with National Guard unit, an' immediate hire' okayed

Back to Front Page





On April 5, Chesterton Police Officer Aaron Miersma’s Indiana Army National Guard unit is shipping out.

Miersma—hired by the CPD less than a year ago—is an infantryman with the 76th Brigade, whose destination and mission are for the moment not public knowledge, for the reason of operational security.

But Miersma’s absence is going to stretch even tighter the CPD’s manpower, already one officer down with the retirement earlier this year of Capt. George Nelson, Police Chief Dave Cincoski told the Police Commission at its meeting last week.

Cincoski accordingly asked for the commission’s authorization to seek an “immediate hire” to fill Nelson’s slot in the roster. Members voted 3-0 so to authorize him.

That authorization makes it possible to make a provisional offer of employment to a qualified candidate: one who successfully passes a written examination, the physical agility test, and a background exam; who has graduated from the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy; and who passes muster with the commission in an interview.

It’s important to make the hire soon, Cincoski explained, because field training takes 12 weeks and ideally the officer hired will be able to patrol on his or her own as soon as Miersma ships out.

“Without the hire, the CPD would be seriously understaffed on patrol,” Cincoski said.

New Squad Cars

In other business, the commission voted 3-0 to forward Cincoski’s request for at least three new squad cars to the Town Council for action.

The low quote, for Dodge Chargers, Cincoski: around $24,000 per. The next lowest, for Ford Explorers: $27,000 per. But Cincoski told the commission that the CPD has been averaging around eight to nine miles per gallon with its existing Chargers, compared to 15 to 16 mpg for the Explorers, and that over the life time of the squad the Explorers would save the CPD around $17,000 in fuel costs. With that in mind, Cincoski said, he will ask the council to approve a request for at least three Explorers.

Cincoski described the Explorers—technically known as Ford Interceptor Utilities—as good vehicles for police work, with six-cylinder engines and four-wheel drive.

All squad acquisitions are made with moneys from Cumulative Capital Development fund, a fund with a dedicated property-tax rate and used exclusively for the purchase of emergency vehicles and equipment.

On Monday, the council voted unanimously to approve Cincoski’s request for four Explorers. Associate Town Attorney Julie Paulson did ask the council’s motion to reflect that, “taking into consideration all costs, (Lakeshore Ford’s) quote for the Ford Explorers is the lowest responsive and responsible quote.”


Meanwhile, the commission took receipt of a letter of gratitude from a resident who, on Nov. 1, found her home visited by a bat. “I was scared and panicked and didn’t know what to do, so I called 911,” the woman wrote.

Johnny on the spot were Officers Nick Christian and Troy Allen, who “spent about 30 minutes catching the bat and getting it out of the house,” she added. “I’m sure that this is not exactly in their job description but they were absolutely kind, patient, and ready to help.”

Christian and Allen “made the bat incident slightly less awful and was a great example of going beyond one’s immediate job to help someone.”

November in Review

In November the CPD responded to 1,567 calls (1,809 in October), filed 43 cases (57), filed seven felony charges and 27 misdemeanor (20 and 47), issued 114 citations and 374 warnings (115 and 382), served six warrants (eight), and investigated 40 accidents with 12 injuries (31 accident with 10 injuries).

Also in November, the CPD assigned 32 juvenile cases and closed 31 of them (31 and 28 in October).

Calls for service in November included 34 alarms (53 in October), nine animal complaints (12), one report of a battery (five), one burglary (two), one report of a counterfeit bill (one), 21 disturbances (19), two domestic calls (one), three reports of fraud (two), 19 miscellaneous juvenile complaints (11), one missing person (one), four parking violations (three), one peddler complaint (two), three residence checks (five), one runaway (four), 46 suspicious circumstances (51), 25 suspicious persons (21), 13 suspicious vehicles (21), 19 thefts (18), 517 traffic stops (537), one train complaint (zero), six incidents of vandalism (21), and six vehicle repossessions (five).



Posted 12/19/2012