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
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
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).