By KEVIN NEVERS
Police Department is set to put a second officer into the Duneland Schools,
this one based at Chesterton High School.
beginning on Sunday and for the first time in its history, the CPD will have
an assistant chief in its table of organization.
These are the most
obvious developments accompanying a re-organization of the department
undertaken by Police Chief Dave Cincoski, authorized by a revision of the
CPD’s Rules and Regulations unanimously approved earlier this year by the
Cincoski walked the
commission through the re-organization at its meeting Thursday.
Begin with the new
position of assistant chief, to which Cincoski has appointed Capt. David
Lohse, formerly commander of the Services Division.
Division, on the other hand, has been re-named the Communications Division
and will now be headed by a communications supervisor. Communications Clerk
Ashley Taylor will assume that title on Sunday as well.
Lt. Joe Christian
will remain in command of the Patrol Division, comprised of two day crews of
three officers each and two night crews of four officers. All crews but
Christian’s own are headed by a sergeant.
Division, however, commanded by Lt. Don Maloney, will see the biggest
changes: not only a second school resource officer (SRO) but a new
Detached for SRO
duty--a detail for which several officers applied--will be Sgt. Chris
Swickard, Cincoski announced. Swickard will operate chiefly out of CHS, just
as the other, longtime SRO, Sgt. Randy Komisarcik, operates out of the
Middle School, but he’ll be available to respond
anywhere in the Duneland Schools when needed, Cincoski said. The effective
date of Swickard’s detachment has not yet been determined.
has chosen Officer Nick Brown to fill a vacancy in the Investigations
Division, with its complement of three detectives. Brown has been working
cases part-time but will start wearing plain clothes every day as soon as
the CPD’s newest hire, Probationary Officer Erik Palleson, is released for
solo duty. Brown was commended in April for his apprehension, following a
pursuit on I-94, of a man suspected of burglarizing the Speedway gas station
on North Calumet Road, and he’s since been involved in several high-profile
drug arrests in town.
Palleson, for his
part, is “progressing very well” since his first day on the job, May 24,
Cincoski said, so well in fact that it’s
been decided to shorten his field training--during which time he accompanies
a veteran officer on the road--and release him for solo duty, probably on
Aug. 2. Palleson came to the CPD from the Kouts PD, where he served two
years, and that experience has proved extremely valuable, Cincoski noted.
“I want to commend
Chief Cincoski on the re-organization,” Member Mike Orlich said. “I’m sure
these are positive changes for the department.”
In other business,
Cincoski reported that the CPD could take delivery of this year’s
fleet purchase--four Ford Explorers from Art Hill Ford Lincoln in
Merrillville--by the end of the month.
In May the Town
Council approved an expenditure of $152,000 in Cumulative Capital
Development moneys to buy those vehicles. The CCD--funded through a
dedicated property-tax rate--is used exclusively for the acquisition of
accepted two donations to the CPD Gift Fund: one in the amount of $200, made
by the Epsilon Kappa Chapter of Kappa Kappa Kappa; the other in the amount
of $100, made by the Westlund Family.
In a note
accompanying the Tri Kappa donation, chapter Treasurer Barb Homme said that
the chapter’s primary fundraisers in 2014 were a murder-mystery dinner, nut
sales, and chocolate egg sales, the proceeds from which are being used in
2015 to support the organization’s three goals of charity, culture, and
education in the community.
The Westlunds, for
their part, have requested assistance from the CPD on several occasions
since moving to Chesterton--including the time a woman began
“singing the National Anthem in the middle of the street”
in their neighborhood--and each time officers
“responded to our call promptly,” were “polite and friendly,” and “sensitive
to our emotional well-being in addition to our safety.”
Members also took
receipt of two communications, both expressing gratitude to the CPD for its
work in the community.
thanked the CPD for an “amazing experience” during his recent job shadow. “I
really wish I could have spent the whole day there,” he wrote. “Even though
I was only there about four hours, I learned a lot. I am grateful there are
people like you protecting our town.”
And Gina Huntman,
manger of the Chesterton Branch of Horizon Bank, thanked Cincoski for a
security awareness training seminar he conducted in May. “The information
and statistics that you provided were helpful and created good discussion
afterwards,” she wrote. Huntman added that she’s looking forward to working
with the CPD again for “further training needs.”
June in Review
in June the CPD
responded to 889 calls (955 in May), filed 73 cases (68), issued 79
citations and 204 warnings (84 and 259), and investigated 44 accidents with
nine injures (32 accidents with 13 injuries).
Calls for service
in June included one report of shoplifting (one in May), 107 suspicious
persons and vehicles (76), seven thefts (22), 60 alarms (47), 18 incidents
of vandalism (six), one overdose (zero), one railroad complaint (zero), 18
animal complaints (11), 293 traffic stops (391), seven well-being checks
(15), two missing persons (one), two attempted burglaries (one), one natural
death (zero), 46 disturbances (32), one forgery/counterfeit (one), five
reports of fraud (eight), three runaways (one), and one report of a sex