The Chesterton Town
Council voted unanimously at its meeting Monday night to maintain
independent 911 dispatch operations for the Chesterton and Porter police
In late 2014 the
911 dispatch functions of the Chesterton and Porter PDs were merged into the
Duneland Regional Emergency Dispatch Operations Center following a change in
state law that limits the number of “public safety answering points” (PSAPs)
to two per county. Before the change, there has been three PSAPs in Porter
County: CPD, PPD, and the Porter County E911 Center.
Chief Dave Cincoski and Porter Police Chief Jamie Spanier wrote in a joint
memo that, at that time, both departments and the County E911 center agreed
to decline to consolidate the three PSAPs into one due to the possibility of
missed calls, extended dispatch times, improper directions to the locations
of calls, and dispatching the wrong department to emergency calls that could
result from the switch. They also wrote that having a dispatch center in
Duneland adds a personal touch and a local angle that makes operations run
Two months ago,
Porter County Executive Director of Public Safety Mike Brickner and the E911
Director Rob Lanchsweerdt approached the CPD and PPD to discuss merging
again. The County E911 center asked that both Town Councils make decisions
regarding the switch by May 17.
Last night, Member
Jim Ton said the following, “I believe we’ve done what the state law
requires, and that took a lot of time and effort to do. We’ve done what we
were supposed to do.” Ton went on to say that something shouldn’t be fixed
it if isn’t broken, and the 911 operations have been working fine since the
2014 merger. “It’s not broken in my opinion. I think we’re entitled to home
rule on this and local determination.” His comments were met with applause
from the audience.
DeLaney concurred with Ton. “We’re doing nothing wrong,” he said. “The
county is doing nothing wrong. I personally feel we need to stay where we’re
The Council voted
unanimously not to merge, to which the audience applauded again. The Porter
Town Council meets next on May 22 and has not formally addressed the merger
at this time.
Attorney Charles Lukmann reported on the status of an annexation of a
11.89-acre parcel of contiguous land owned by the Ballestero Living Trust.
The owners of the
property--located on the north side of East Porter Ave., east of Sand Creek,
in unincorporated Westchester Township--previously agreed to be annexed by
the town in exchange for sanitary sewer service from the Chesterton Utility.
home and outbuildings stand on the lot. The owners have agreed to pay the
costs of connecting their utilities to the Town’s and have devised a fiscal
plan with the help of Attorney Greg Babcock and Lukmann. They are also
amenable to paying a park impact fee. Babcock and Lukmann have worked with
the owners to write a new legal description for the property that describes
a 50-foot right-of-way for East Porter Ave.
The Council adopted
a resolution allowing amendments to the legal description and establishing
the written fiscal plan for the annexation and set a public hearing for an
ordinance to annex the property at the next meeting, June 11. The vote was
unanimous with Dane Lafata absent.
Town Manager Bernie
Doyle reported that the Indiana Department of Transportation’s call for
applications for the Community Crossing grants has been posted. The
applications open on Aug. 6, and Doyle said that he plans on having
Chesterton’s application in by Sept. 28. The match is still 50/50. The only
change in the application process is that it’s all electronic this year.
Doyle said that was a plus, however.
Doyle also noted
that the newest revised version of the Town Code is on Chesterton’s website