Chesterton Tribune

 

 

Officer Christopher Schoof joins Chesterton Police Department

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By KEVIN NEVERS

The Chesterton Police Department’s newest hire, Master Patrol Officer Christopher Schoof, was administered his ceremonial oath of service by Police Chief Dave Cincoski at the Police Commission’s meeting on Thursday.

Schoof comes to the CPD from the LaPorte PD, where he served 13 years. Schoof’s first day on the job was Aug. 2 and he took the formal oath of service, administered by Clerk-Treasurer Courtney Udvare, on Aug. 3.

On Cincoski’s recommendation, members voted unanimously to take three actions:

-- Promote Schoof to Master Patrol Officer under a lateral transfer, reflecting his previous 13 years of experience with the LaPorte PD. Cincoski noted that Schoof must still complete field officer training and a six-month probationary period.

-- Grant Schoof the benefit schedule, including vacation time, equivalent to those 13 years.

-- And grant Schoof the to-and-from-home use of a squad car upon completion of his field training.

Following the oath of office, Schoof’s wife, Holly, pinned his badge to his uniform.

Alicea Commended

In other business, Cincoski announced the award of an official commendation to Officer Adam Alicea, for his outstanding work, “above and beyond the call of duty,” between Feb. 18 and April 9, as the COVID-19 pandemic began to spread in Porter County and during the height of Gov. Holcomb’s lockdown order.

During that time, when only essential workers were out and about and both criminal incidents and traffic volume dropped precipitously, Alicea “took it upon himself to help out in the community when things were slow,” Cincoski said. Alicea reached out to residents, made his presence known in the neighborhoods, and generally contributed to the town’s well-being.

Cincoski added that the commendation was recommended by Alicea’s supervisor.

Judge David Chidester

The meeting opened with Judge David Chidester, Porter Superior Court 4, speaking from the floor to pay his respects to the officers of the CPD and the Police Commission. Chidester noted that he regularly sees many CPD officers--he specifically mentioned Sgt. Tony Alfaro and Officer Aaron Miersma--in his courtroom, there to testify in cases, and that he thinks highly of their work.

“Some years ago I wrested Superior Court 4 away from Judge Thode and I’ll do everything I can to keep it,” Chidester remarked. Superior Court 4 serves the jurisdictions of the Chesterton, Porter, and Burns Harbor PDs. “I always look forward to seeing you. Thanks for all the good work you do.”

CPD Liaison

Town Council Member Jim Ton, R-1st, also spoke from the floor, as liaison to the CPD, to encourage an open line of communication between the commission and the council. “We want open communications,” he said. “We’re not here to take a leadership role. We’re here to facilitate and make things better for everyone. We look forward to a fine year working together.”

“As an ex-Police Commission member, I kind of know the ropes,” Ton added. “But I appreciate everything you do as first-responders to keep us safe in this town.”

Disability

Meanwhile, members voted unanimously to approve the findings of the CPD Pension Board, with regard to Sgt. Nick Christian’s application for disability. Those findings: that there are no permanent light-duty positions available to Christian anywhere in the department and no accommodations which can be made.

Those findings will be forwarded now to the 1977 Firefighters and Police Officer Disability and Retirement Fund for its review and approval.

With Gratitude

The commission also took receipt of several thank-you notes:

-- From Art and Judy Yagodnik: “Dear Chesterton Police Department, Thank you for keeping our community safe. We appreciate your protection and service.”

-- From Rugby, Jennifer, Massimo, Rocco, and Leonardo Popa: “Dear Chesterton Police, We wanted to thank you for your strength, selflessness, kindness, and bravery. We also want you to know that our family supports you all. Our small town has a big heart and we feel blessed to live here. May God protect the Chesterton police men and women in this crazy world!” The note was accompanied by a $200 pizza donation for the officers.

-- From the Grace Gathering, Chesterton United Methodist Church: “Thanks for all you do. Just wanted to let you know that we appreciate you.”

Revised SOPs

Members unanimously approved two revised standard operating procedures:

-- One revision, on reports, reflects the fact that the CPD now uses the Tiburon CAD system for logging and storing officers’ reports.

-- The other revision, on the Field Training Officer program for new recruits, updates the organization of the FTO program and its evaluation procedures.

July in Review

In July, the CPD responded to 968 calls (942 in June), filed 78 cases (74), issued 48 citations and 72 warnings (24 and 103), and investigated 26 accidents with seven injuries (24 accidents with six injuries).

Calls for service included 126 suspicious persons or vehicles (118 in June), seven thefts (11), nine incidents of vandalism (10), 35 alarms (36), five animal complaints (four), 150 traffic stops (158), one missing person (none), two reports of battery (five), one report of burglary (none), 56 disturbances (66), eight reports of fraud (eight), one motor vehicle theft (one), one report of sexual assault (none), and one runaway (one).

Member Pete Duda did, after reviewing July’s activity reports, express his dismay over the “number of domestic violent incidents” to which officers have recently been responding.

Last Thought

Duda also took a moment at the end of the meeting to strike a hopeful note as the Duneland Schools prepare to open. “With school starting up again, please keep positive thoughts of a successful year and a safe year for our children,” he said. “And I’m sure our officers will do an excellent job of remaining vigilant.”

 

Posted 8/18/2020

 
 
 
 

 

 

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