Chesterton Tribune



Chesterton and Porter eye merging police detective and dispatch operations

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The Chesterton and Porter police departments are set to merge both their dispatch functions and their detective bureaus.

At its meeting Monday night, the Chesterton Town Council voted 4-0 to approve what’s being called an agreement “for the consolidation of certain police services.”

Member Nick Walding, R-3rd, was not in attendance. The Porter Town Council has yet to consider the agreement.

The genesis of the partial consolidation is I.C. 36-8-16.7-47, under which no county may have more than two public safety answering points (or PSAPs) after Dec. 31, 2014. Currently there are three: the CPD’s, the PPD’s, and the Porter County e-911 Dispatch Center.

Chesterton Police Chief Dave Cincoski told members that, about three years ago, he began exploring the feasibility of consolidating the CPD’s PSAP with the PPD’s, after determining that a merger with the PCSP’s would “not be fruitful.”

The agreement which the Chesterton Town Council approved on Monday is the result.

Under that agreement:

* All dispatching for the two departments will now be physically done at the Porter Police station.

* Each PD will provide one dispatcher per shift per day. Should the midnight shift warrant only one dispatcher, that one will be provided by the PPD. Cincoski told the Chesterton Tribune after the meeting that the consolidation will render no dispatcher positions redundant and that there will be no job loss.

* Dispatchers will receive wages and benefits from their respective department, will be subject to that department’s policies and procedures, and will be commended or disciplined by that respective department.

* But all dispatchers will be subject to the lawful orders or directives of sworn officers of either the CPD or the PPD, “depending upon shift situations and working conditions.”

* The PPD has already installed all necessary hardware. The two PDs will equally share the cost of maintenance and upkeep. The CPD, however, will pay for the initial transfer and installation of telephone service and will pay the monthly telephone fees, while the PPD will pay for the cost of utilities and office supplies. The CPD will also pay for the purchase and installation of Tiburon software to enable the interface of hardware between the two PDs.

Cincoski did tell the Tribune one other thing. Although there will no longer be a dispatcher in the radio room in the foyer of the town hall, residents will be able to reach an officer on duty at the station by means of a telephone to be installed in the lobby.

The Detective Bureau

What Dunelanders are likely to notice more than the consolidation of the two departments’ dispatch functions, on the other hand, is that of their detective bureaus, which under the agreement will now “operate in a taskforce capacity” headquartered at the CPD:

* The taskforce will be comprised of detectives assigned to the Investigations Division by their respective police chief of each town.

* The taskforce’s immediate supervisor will be the Investigations Commander assigned by the CPD chief. That person will “assign cases to all detectives regardless of originating jurisdictions.”

* Although detectives will have “primary responsibilities for their respective jurisdiction,” they may also be “assigned cases from the other town if the Investigations Commander determines that the case load for any detective warrants (it).”

* All commendations or disciplinary actions related to detectives “will be forwarded through the respective chain of command by the Investigations Commander of the Chesterton Police Department.”

* Each PD will equip its own detectives. The CPD will provide office supplies.

The agreement governing the consolidation of the dispatch functions will remain in effect until either the CPD or the PPD gives written notice of its intention to terminate it. A one-year notice prior to termination is required.

The consolidation of the detective bureaus may be terminated after a one-month written notice.

Apply now for open seat on tree board

The Chesterton Tree Committee remains in need of an additional member.

At Monday night’s Town Council meeting, Street Commissioner John Schnadenberg announced that the three-member board has an open seat, which he encouraged residents to apply for.

Applications may be sent to the Clerk-Treasurer’s Office at 726 Broadway or to the Street Department at 1490 Broadway.

A standing municipal tree committee is one of the requirements for Tree City USA certification.


Posted 1/28/2014