Chesterton Tribune



CPD to send second SRO to Duneland Schools; Dave Lohse named asst chief

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The Chesterton Police Department is set to put a second officer into the Duneland Schools, this one based at Chesterton High School.

Meanwhile, 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 Police Commission.

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.

The Services 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.

The Investigations Division, however, commanded by Lt. Don Maloney, will see the biggest changes: not only a second school resource officer (SRO) but a new detective.

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.

Finally, Cincoski 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.”

Fleet Purchase

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 emergency vehicles.

Two Donations

Members gratefully 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.”

With Gratitude

Members also took receipt of two communications, both expressing gratitude to the CPD for its work in the community.

Alec Calllahan 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 offense (one).



Posted 7/13/2015




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