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
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
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.
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
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
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).