Chesterton Tribune



How would CPD presence in Sand Creek affect police service elsewhere?

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What would be the impact on law enforcement elsewhere in the Town of Chesterton if its police officers began enforcing traffic laws on the private roads of the Estates of Sand Creek (ESC)?

That’s the question the Police Commission wants answered before it authorizes Police Chief Dave Cincoski to enter into any contract with the ESC homeowners’ association.

Right now, as Cincoski told the commission at its meeting last week, officers may respond to any and all criminal activity in ESC. But they may not enforce traffic law “because the roads are private.”

The ESC homeowners association--fed up by speeders, stop-sign scofflaws, and kids in golf carts--would like to give the CPD precisely the authority it would need to patrol the private roads and issue formal citations to traffic violators.

But here’s what the commission wants to know: inasmuch as ESC was originally developed as a subdivision in need of limited police services only, what would happen to the level of those services in the town as a whole should officers begin devoting their time to ESC?

Cincoski did say this: should the commission endorse any future contract with ESC and the Town Council approve it, it will be made clear to the homeowners’ association that no CPD officer will ever be stationed there permanently but “as time and ability allow only.”

The homeowners’ association offered to pay for any traffic studies and to update the signage in ESC, Cincoski noted.

Members agreed by consensus to authorize Cincoski to consult with Town Attorney Chuck Lukmann.

Two Traffic Studies

In other business, members voted 3-0 to authorize the CPD to conduct--with the help of the Street Department--traffic studies at two intersections in town, with a view to making a pair of two-way stops into four-way stops.

The first intersection: Sidewalk Road (1050N) and Dickinson Road, where currently motorists north- and southbound on Dickinson Road must stop and those east- and westbound on Sidewalk Road have the right of way.

The second intersection (and one of the most accident-prone in Chesterton: Broadway and Jackson Blvd., where motorists north- and southbound on Jackson Blvd. must stop and those east- and westbound on Broadway have the right of way.

Only two factors would warrant a four-way stop at either intersection: a bad accident history or a high traffic count. Under the Indiana Uniform Manual of Traffic Control Devices, neither intersection in the past has warranted a four-way stop.

Orlich on Board

Meanwhile, members Alex Rodriguez and Brandon Kroft took a moment at the beginning of the meeting to welcome their new colleague, Mike Orlich, formerly chief of the Chesterton Fire Department, appointed earlier this month to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Craig Stafford.

The commission voted unanimously to appoint Orlich to the secretariat.

May in Review

In April the CPD responded to 1,769 calls (1,693 in April), filed 40 cases (34), filed 15 felony charges and 34 misdemeanor (21 and 44), issued 98 citations and 204 warnings (79 and 220), served two warrants (three), and investigated 27 accidents with six injuries (27 accidents with 16 injuries).

No information was available on juvenile investigations last month.

Calls for service in May included 51 alarms (22), 15 animal complaints (six), four reports of battery (two), two burglaries (three), 19 disturbances (25), two domestic calls (two), three reports of fraud (eight), one report of identity theft (five), 13 miscellaneous juvenile complaints (16), two noise complaints (four), 16 parking violations (two), one runaway (one), three sex offenses (zero), one report of shoplifting (zero), 39 suspicious circumstances (43), 21 suspicious persons (24), 22 suspicious vehicles (26), 11 thefts (17), 353 traffic stops (401), three incidents of vandalism (six), and four vehicle repossessions (zero).


Posted 6/18/2014