Chesterton Tribune



Police Commission discusses traffic stacking problem at the Dunkin Donuts

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Take Indian Boundary Road during the morning rush hour and you’ll be lucky not to find yourself fouled in a clot of traffic, as motorists in both the eastbound and westbound lanes stack like lemmings waiting to turn onto Plaza Drive West, then into Dunkin Donuts.

The thing is, the Dunkin Donuts drive-through has room for only 10 or 12 vehicles, so folks seem oddly content to sit and dawdle in their cars on Plaza Drive West, and even more oddly to sit and dawdle on Indian Boundary Road.

As Chesterton Police Chief Dave Cincoski noted at last week’s meeting of the Police Commission--where Member Mike Orlich broached the Dunkin Donuts problem--the congestion seems recently to have eased somewhat, now that school is out, as much of the traffic is generated by teachers and CHS students. But that relief is only temporary, pending the resumption of classes in August.

Have the department heads discussed the situation? Orlich wondered.

They have, Town Council Member and CPD liaison Emerson DeLaney, R-5th, said. “It’s been an ongoing problem and there are no easy solutions. The traffic that facility was designed for far exceeds its capacity.”

Two possible solutions have been kicked around, DeLaney added, but neither is ideal. The first--making Plaza Drive West a right-out only onto westbound Indian Boundary Road--would only solve part of the problem. The other--making the whole of Plaza Drive one-way, from the traffic signal at Plaza Drive East in the direction of Plaza Drive West--would simply kick the problem down the road.

“The onus is all on the drivers sitting there stacked up with no regard for traffic,” DeLaney said.

There is, on the other hand, something drivers could do, which is to abandon their vehicles and become pedestrians, parking, say, in the Subway lot and then walking to Dunkin Donuts. And possibly getting faster service.

DeLaney promised Orlich that the department heads would re-double their efforts and try to find some sort of fix.


In other business, Cincoski announced that the promotion process has been concluded and asked members to approve the following promotions:

--Cpl. Nick Christian to Sergeant contingent on his being released from medical for unrestricted duty and his successful completion of a field training refresher course, expected to take a few weeks.

--Officer Nick Brown to Corporal (effective June 23). Members agreed to keep Brown assigned to the Investigations Division, where Cincoski said he’s proved to be “an excellent detective, a real go-getter.” Member Pete Duda concurred. Brown is “sharp as a tack,” he said.

--Officer Aaron Miersma to Corporal (effective July 7).

--Officer Sarah Ritz to Corporal (effective July 21).

Members approved the promotions by unanimous vote.

NILEA Sponsorship

Meanwhile, members voted unanimously to approve a request by Chesterton Police Reserve Officer Steve DeLaney to be formally sponsored by the CPD at the Northwest Indiana Law Enforcement Academy (NILEA).

DeLaney will be a tuition student, which is to say that he will himself pay all costs associated with attending NILEA. Anyone may enroll at NILEA and be personally responsible for those costs, but only after being sponsored by a law enforcement agency, Cincoski said.

DeLaney has served with the CPD Reserves for three years, Cincoski noted. “He is very active and wants to be a police officer and he believes this will further his opportunity to go into law enforcement.”

Bulletproof Vest

Grant Application

Cincoski reported that he has submitted an application for a U.S. Department of Justice bulletproof vest grant, in the amount of $4,131, which would defray half the cost of purchasing nine new vests.

Under Indiana Code, all sworn members of a law enforcement agency must be provided a bulletproof vest. A vest’s warranty, however, expires after five years’ use, requiring it to be replaced.

Cincoski expects to be notified of DOJ’s decision sometime in the fall.

St. Patrick Church

Parade Permit

By consensus members approved a parade permit application filed by St. Patrick Church, for a walk of approximately 100 people on Sunday, June 28, from the church at 638 N. Calumet Road to a new community center at 402 N. Calumet Road, then back.

There will be no animals or vehicles involved.

With Gratitude

Members also took delivery of several thank-you notes:

--From Deb and Mike in Chesterton: “On May 11, our dogs accidentally got out of our backyard. I was at work and my husband was out looking for the dogs. I appreciate your help in getting our dogs returned safely. We didn’t catch names while we were panicking, but wanted to thank the dispatcher and the female officer for their help.”

--From the Duneland Schools elementary school counselors: “Thank you for being part of Duneland’s first Elementary Career Fair. We appreciate your time and effort. The students really enjoyed the experience!”

--From the Salvation Army of Porter County: “We appreciate all you do!”

--From the Girls on the Run of Northwest Indiana: “Your support made the Spring 5Ks unforgettable: 89 teams, 350 coaches, 1,400 girls, over 150 5K volunteers, 3,000 total 5K participants.”

Cruise Night

At the request of the Park Department, the CPD will close Broadway from South Calumet Road to Third Street from 4:30 to 9 p.m. on the following dates for the monthly Chesterton Cruise Night event: Saturday, June 29, July 27, Aug. 31, and Sept. 28.

Executive Session

The Police Commission will meet in executive session at 4 p.m. Tuesday, June 18, to discuss a possible future opening and promotion.

May in Review

In May the CPD responded to 609 calls (543 in April), filed 59 cases (52), issued 43 citations and 56 warnings (42 and 20), and investigated 34 accidents with 10 injuries (33 accidents with seven injuries).

Calls for service in May included 88 suspicious vehicles or persons (64 in April), six thefts (five), seven incidents of vandalism (two), one overdose (one), 31 alarms (43), two animal complaints (four), 139 traffic stops (151), 14 well-being checks (nine), one missing person (one), seven reports of battery (zero), 25 disturbances (20), two reports of counterfeit bills (two), two reports of fraud (four), one motor vehicle theft (none), two sex offenses (three), and one vehicle repossession (none).


Posted 6/17/2019




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