Chesterton Tribune



CPD officers undeterred by C19

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The officers of the Chesterton Police Department are not letting the risk of COVID-19 prevent them from doing their duties.

So Police Chief Dave Cincoski unequivocally stated at last week’s Zoom meeting of the Police Commission, in response to a query from Member Pete Duda.

“Are any officers second-guessing calls or a willingness to act?” Duda wondered.

Cincoski was emphatic. “Absolutely not,” he said. “We have a large inventory of personal protection equipment which all the troops have access to. I would say just the opposite. We’ve had people on calls who are positive for COVID-19 or who’ve claimed to be positive, but we’ve seen no back-stepping or hesitation to take action when appropriate.”

Cincoski had one other observation about the COVID-19 crisis, what he called “the unsavory portion of the stay-at-home order": in the days before Gov. Eric Holcomb lifted the order, to begin a phased-in re-opening of the state’s economy, the CPD responded to a spike in domestic batteries. “But things have calmed down since the stay-at-home order was lifted,” he added.

There’ve been no issues to date related to the re-opening of businesses, Cincoski also noted.

Meanwhile, Chesterton residents grateful to the CPD for brightening the days of children in town--by participating in birthday parades and, of course, escorting the Easter Bunny on April 11--have put their money where their mouth is, with donations to the CPD Gift Fund. $75 from Jim and Kari Murray, who wrote, “Thank you for participating in the birthday parade for our grandson, Cooper Murray. We so appreciate your taking the time to make a 4-year-old’s shelter-at-home so memorable.” $25 from Charlie and Barbara Sanchez: “You always are concerned for us. God bless you always. We send love.” And an anonymous note: “I was outside reading a book on April 11. I was feeling down in the dumps that day. When you brought your police cars and the fire truck went by, it brought tears to my eyes. What a wonderful thing to do for the children and the seniors also. Thank you very much.”


In other business, members voted unanimously to promote Cpl. Jamie Coppolo to the probationary rank of Sergeant, effective in the first week of June when she returns from light duty after suffering a non-duty related medical issue.

The position was opened with the retirement of Sgt. Don Moloney.

Members also voted unanimously to end the probationary status, effective April 28, of 2nd Class Patrol Officer Ryan MIller, who came to the CPD in October after two years with the LaPorte Police Department. “He’s received very high marks from his superiors,” Cincoski said.

Removal from probationary status entitles Miller to take his assigned squad car home with him.

Hiring Process

At Cincoski’s recommendation, members deferred scheduling an executive session until their June 11 meeting to interview candidates for patrol officer.

“Our activity right now is pretty slow, so it wouldn’t be a good time for field training a new hire,” Cincoski remarked. “And the vacant position is not currently detrimental to operations.”

Fleet Orders

The three new Ford Explorer squad cars purchased through the 2019 order have all been equipped and are now in the CPD fleet, Cincoski reported.

The three new squad cars purchased through the 2020 fleet order, however, are pending, with the temporary shut-down of the manufacturing line due to the pandemic. The plant is back in operation, Cincoski said, but a delivery date has not yet been confirmed.

Bulletproof Vest Grant

By consensus members authorized Cincoski to apply for another bulletproof vest grant through the U.S. Department of Justice. Those grants reimburse half the cost of a new vest.

As Cincoski noted, under state law all law enforcement agencies are required to provide sworn officers with warrantied bulletproof vests. The warranties expire after five years, though, and the vests need to be replaced.

Last Thoughts

In a nod to National Police Week, May 10-16, Town Council Member and CPD liaison Bob Allison, D-3rd, expressed his profound gratitude to Cincoski, his officers, and the Police Commission itself. “We appreciate what the department does for the citizens and the community,” he said. “And we appreciate what you do too, Mike and Pete and Jeff,” speaking of members Mike Orlich, Pete Duda, and Jeff Hornyak.

“Thank you, it’s a pleasure to serve,” Duda replied.

Allison also thanked Cincoski specifically for his time--and Town Engineer Mark O’Dell’s as well--in formulating the guidelines approved by the Town Council last week regulating “gatherings” in town parks and on municipal property. “Chief Cincoski spent an awful lot of time on the regulations for gatherings,” Allison said. “The council truly appreciates his time and dedication. This is something that the general public does not see, along with the development of new officers.”

April in Review

The CPD responded to 543 calls in April (619 in March), filed 46 cases (52), issue 14 citations and seven warnings (29 and 79), and investigated 11 accidents with two injuries (23 accidents with nine injuries).

Calls for service last month included one report of shoplifting (one in March), 71 suspicious persons or vehicles (81), four thefts (six), 18 alarms (20), four animal complaints (one), 12 traffic stops (129), 21 well-being checks (18), six reports of battery (one), three reports of fraud (four), one motor vehicle theft (two), five runaways (none), and one report of a sex offense (none).


Posted 5/18/2020




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