Some members of the Chesterton Town Council have evidently taken one view of
the best interests of the Chesterton Police Department.
Former Police Commission member Steve Brickner has taken another.
It was that difference in views which prompted him to resign his seat
abruptly last week.
“Prior to this past year it has been a pleasure serving the Town of
Chesterton on the Police Commission,” Brickner states in a letter dated Jan.
8. “Recently, I have struggled to reconcile my thoughts on what is in the
best interest of the CPD with those expressed by this council.”
“I realize there are some major issues facing the department at this time
and in the near future but feel the best course of action for myself is to
resign from the Chesterton Police Commission effective immediately,”
In his letter Brickner, a former council member himself, cites an instance
in which he believes himself to have been “misled” by unspecified council
Brickner declined to elaborate today but did tell the Chesterton Tribune
that the issue is not at all the state of the CPD but some council members’
impression of that state.
Last year Member Jim Ton, R-1st, served as liaison to the CPD; this year he
was replaced in that role by Member Emerson DeLaney, R-5th. In December the
council declined to re-appoint Mark Acevedo to his seat on the commission,
as Acevedo had requested, and replaced him instead with Craig Stafford.
The council is currently inviting residents interested in filling the
vacancy on the commission to submit letters of application by 4:30 p.m.
Monday, Jan. 25. Candidates may be Republicans or Independents. They may
not be Democrats.
Meanwhile, Police Chief George Nelson told the commission at its meeting
Wednesday evening that heis waiting for physicals to be conducted on the top
two candidates for the pair of new patrol officer positions in the CPD.
Once those physical exams are conducted, the results will be forwarded to
the pension board. Nelson said that he is hopeful the two new recruits will
begin by Feb. 1 or Feb. 16.
Funds for the new officers became available through the excess levy granted
to the Town of Chesterton by the Indiana Department of Local Government
Finance in 2008, based on the need to provide municipal services to recently
annexed land east of Ind. 49 and south of the Indiana Toll Road.
In other business, the commission acknowledged three generous contributions
to the CFD Gift Fund: $25 from the Sieverts, $500 from the Manuzzies, and
$50 from the Kluths.
“It’s all appreciated,” Member Nick Walters said.
The commission also took receipt of a note from Patty Neely thanking the CPD
for “providing a safe route” for the recent Sleighbell 5K Run. “We truly
appreciate your braving the elements to support our event and assure the
safety of our runners and walkers,” Heely wrote. “We had over 200 people
registered for the event and zero reported mishaps. Thank you for all you
By a vote of 2-0 the commission elected Walters to an interim presidency and
newest member Craig Stafford to the interim vice-presidency.
Walters said that when the Town Council has filled the vacancy created by
Brickner’s resignation, a new vote will be held to elect permanent officers
for the year.
Walters took a moment at the end of the meeting to bid Brickner farewell. “I
was sad to hear he was resigning,” he said. “He will be greatly missed. I
wish him well in all his endeavors.”
Nelson for his part greeted Stafford to the commission.
In December the
CPD responded to 1,041 calls (1,212 in November), filed 73 cases (85),
issued 39 citations and 71 warnings (67 and 150), filed three felony charges
and 10 misdemeanor (11 and 25), served two warrants (two), and investigated
37 accidents with eight injuries (35 with 10).
In addition, the
CPD assigned 18 juvenile cases in December and closed 17 of them (22 and 21
service in December included 50 alarms (42 in November), 11 animal
complaints (13), five reports of battery (one), three burglaries (three),
three counterfeit bills (three), nine domestic calls (five), eight reports
of fraud (eight), 21 miscellaneous juvenile complaints (23), one motor
vehicle theft (two), four noise complaints (seven), six parking violations
(two), two peddler complaints (one), 30 residence checks (30), one reportof
robbery (zero), one report of shoplifting (one), 39 suspicious circumstances
(54), 12 suspicious persons (12), 23 suspicious vehicles (15), 24 thefts
(14), 73 traffic stops (167), one train complaint (zero), and seven
incidents of vandalism (16).