Chesterton Tribune



VPD Sgt. Todd Kobitz made honorary member of CPD for training Maverick

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The handler of the Chesterton Police Department’s new K-9 unit, Maverick, is Officer Erik Palleson. The Tribune inadvertently identified Maverick’s handler as a former K-9 handler, also named Erik, who now works for a different PD.



The Chesterton Police Department’s newest K-9 partner, Maverick, is now on patrol, partnered with Officer Erik Palleson.

And the CPD has Sgt. Todd Kobitz of the Valparaiso Police Department to thank for it.

Kobitz was released by Valparaiso Police Chief Jeff Balon to train Maverick at no cost to the CPD, a savings of $6,000 to $8,000 and a professional courtesy for which Chesterton Police Chief Dave Cincoski is profoundly grateful.

That’s why, at last week’s meeting of the Police Commission, members voted unanimously to proclaim Kobitz an honorary member of the CPD.

Excerpts from the proclamation read by Cincoski:

“The Town of Chesterton Metropolitan Board of Police Commissioners recognizes Sgt. Todd Kobitz of the Valparaiso Police Department for services above and beyond the call of duty by providing invaluable training to the Chesterton Police Department and specifically the training and certification of Officer Erik Palleson and his canine partner, Maverick.

“As our token of appreciation, the commission hereby appoints Sgt. Kobitz as an honorary member of the Chesterton Police Department and designates him with Badge No. 79, which will be retired from future use in the department’s history.”

And so Kobitz comes full circle, having begun his law enforcement career in 1998 as a CPD Reserve Officer.

A signed copy of the proclamation has been forwarded both to Chief Balon and Valparaiso Mayor Jon Costas, Cincoski noted. He added that Maverick “had his first nail last week.”

Maverick was purchased from FMK Kennels in Berrien Center, Mich., at a cost of $5,000. Unlike his predecessors in the CPD, Kahr and Igor, Maverick received no aggression training, per a policy adopted earlier this year by the commission, as aggression training tends to reduce a K-9 partner’s useful term of service by as many as two years. Instead, Maverick will be tasked solely to drug searches and tracking duty.

For the record, Maverick is named after Tom Cruise’s character in Top Gun, and--according to Cincoski--his handler, Palleson, is already being called “Goose” by his fellow officers, after Maverick’s wingman in the film, played by Anthony Edwards.

Hiring Update

In other business, members agreed to interview in executive session the top 10 applicants for the position of patrol officer, beginning at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 22.

The Investigations Division is currently conducting background checks on applicants, Cincoski said.

With Gratitude

Meanwhile, the commission took receipt of two thank-you notes.

The first, from a resident of the 100 block of South Seventh Street, grateful for the help she received from officers in “catching my dog and returning her to me safely.” The dog “is my companion and best friend,” the resident added.

The second note, plus a platter of cookies: from Chesterton First United Methodist Church, for “the sacrifice and service you give to us daily.” The cookies “were probably gone the first day,” Cincoski laughed.

July in Review

In July the CPD responded to 663 calls (677 in June), filed 76 cases (36), issued 45 citations and 28 warnings (42 and 29), and investigated 39 accidents with 13 injuries (41 accidents with 12 injuries).

Calls for service last month included one report of a shoplifting (zero), nine thefts (four), nine incidents of vandalism (four), three overdoses (one), 40 alarms (46), eight animal complaints (three), 139 traffic stops (168), 11 well-being checks (14), two missing persons (zero), three reports of battery (two), one burglary (zero), 57 disturbances (39), seven reports of fraud (one), one report of indecent exposure (zero), one report of a sex offense (one), one vehicle repossession (zero), and one runaway (four).



Posted 8/15/2018




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