Chesterton Tribune



Two new Chesterton Police officers sworn in today

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Two new probationary Chesterton Police officers were sworn in and officially began their service to the town this morning.

The new hires: Kaitlin Bruning, 22, a graduate of Portage High School; and Alexias DeJesus, 22, a graduate of Valparaiso High School with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Ball State University.

As Police Chief Dave Cincoski reported at last week’s meeting of the Police Commission, the 1977 Indiana Firefighters and Police Pension Fund Board has approved both hires as well as a third, who has yet to accept the CPD’s offer of employment.

Bruning and DeJesus must still attend the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy, whose next class is scheduled to begin in August. In the meantime, they’ll complete their field training under the tutelage of the CPD’s field training officers.

Cincoski noted that Bruning and DeJesus will go a long way to addressing the CPD’s long-standing manpower shortage.

The Homicide Investigation

In other business, Cincoski reported that to date approximately 800 man-hours have been devoted to investigating the homicide on April 19 of Upper Deck bartender Nicole Gland. Although Christopher Mark Dillard, 50, of Hobart, was formally charged with Gland’s murder only two days later, Cincoski said that the investigation is still ongoing.

Cincoski in particular expressed his deepest gratitude to the Northwest Indiana Major Crimes Task Force, comprised of detectives assigned to the investigation by the Task Force’s member agencies, of which the CPD is one. “Without the involvement and assistance of the Major Crimes Task Force, the Chesterton Police Department would still be putting many hours into the case,” he said. “We would have charged (Dillard) regardless. But the investigation doesn’t end when an accused is charged.”

“Probably the best investment I made when I became Chief was joining the Task Force,” Cincoski added. Annual membership fee: $200.

Cincoski did say, however--and he especially wants the public to know--that the intensity of the homicide investigation has diverted the CPD’s resources from other ongoing investigations. As he put it bluntly, “We haven’t had time for other open cases. Hopefully we’ll be able to catch up soon.”

On the other hand, Cincoski praised the Patrol Division for doing an outstanding job of covering the slack and performing an investigative function on behalf of the CPD’s detectives.

Meanwhile, Town Council Member and CPD liaison Emerson DeLaney, R-5th, wondered whether it’s legally possible to seek “restitution” from a convicted offender to “recoup expenses out of the norm for an investigation.”

It’s not possible, Cincoski replied. Courts have previously ruled that even the most complicated and costly investigations should be considered “within the normal job description,” he said.

In any event, Cincoski observed, “It doesn’t take much for a case--for any kind of case--to become laborious. The Town of Chesterton is safe. It’s not that we’re becoming unsafe. It’s that cases can become very labor intensive.”

No one he’s spoken to, Commission Member Pete Duda said for his part, has complained about the CPD’s open cases. “The comments I’ve heard from the public are that people are glad the homicide was resolved so quickly. I think there’s a high level of appreciation.”

April in Review

In April the CPD responded to 593 calls (669 in March), filed 50 cases (60), issued 40 citations and 30 warnings (58 and 70), and investigated 34 accidents with 12 injuries (40 accidents with 15 injuries).

Calls for service in April included 100 suspicious vehicles and persons (69 in March), three thefts (nine), 35 alarms (51), one incident of vandalism (eight), four animal complaints (zero), 130 traffic stops (187), 13 well-being checks (22), three reports of battery (four), three burglaries (four), 20 disturbances (20), four reports of fraud (eight), one motor vehicle theft (two), and four runaways (two).


Posted 5/15/2017




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