Chesterton Tribune



Police Commission commends Conder, Bruning, Virijevich and Manion

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A Chesterton Police communications clerk and three officers were commended for service above and beyond the call of duty at the Police Commission’s meeting last week.

They were Communications Clerk Mary Conder, Officer Kaitlin Bruning, Sgt. Dave Virijevich and Officer Michael Manion.

Conder was commended for her dedication on Jan. 8, when the CPD received a report of a man’s threatening to kill himself. According to a letter written by Cpl. John Carnahan, while dispatching officers, Conder also began pinging the man’s cell phone and managed to get a GPS location indicating a signal on a set of railroad tracks on C.R. 150W in Liberty Township. First on the scene was Porter Police Lt. John McMahon, who found the man in his car, parked on the railroad tracks. McMahon was able to get the man out of the car and then the car off the tracks, shortly before a train came through.

“Had it not been for (Conder’s) quick thinking, this would have been a very different call and the male might not be here today,” Carnahan stated. “In moments like this ‘just doing our job’ sometimes goes unnoticed. This is one of those moments that show what happens when we work as a team and staying alert pays off while on duty. It’s that reason I would like to recognize (Conder) for going above and beyond during an in-progress call. Having a dispatcher that is working on a full-time basis who ‘knows her job’ and recognizes who and what goes on during a shift beneficial to his department.”

Bruning was commended for her professionalism on the night of Jan. 20, when a vehicle became stuck on the CSX railroad grade-crossing as a train approached. According to a letter written by her shift supervisor, Sgt. Tony Alfaro, Bruning succeeded in persuading the initially intransigent driver to exit his vehicle, cleared the tracks of all other persons, including several Good Samaritans, and signaled the engineer of the oncoming train with her flashlight. The train did hit the car but at a significantly slower velocity than its cruising speed.

“During the brief situation, Officer Bruning remained calm and, while excited, she spoke in a clear manner over the radio informing dispatch and officers of the situation,” Alfaro stated. She was able to maintain her composure and control the scene, alone, as other officers continued to the crash site. While on the scene I overheard Lt. McMahon of the Porter Police Department telling her that she had done a great job of informing officers and dispatch. . . . I believe that with the limited time on the department she has, less than two years, she acted in a way that all officers should strive for in critical situations.”

Virijevich and Manion were commended for their actions earlier this month when they had occasion to make contact with a young autistic man after his mother called police. “I have had difficulties with my autistic son for more than 20 years, which often included police involvement,” the man’s mother stated in a letter to Police Chief Dave Cincoski. “Since my son is high-functioning, officers in the past, due to misunderstanding, have dealt with the outward behaviors only. Never before have I witnessed the compassion and sensitivity towards him as I did today. They have no idea how much that meant, nor how much they helped ease my son’s anxiety, not to mention boosting my personal strength and self-esteem. Please share this with them and recognize them for their superb service.”

“All of our officers do a great job but it’s nice when they get extra recognition when it’s deserved,” Member Mike Orlich said.

“I appreciate whenever I see action that is proactive rather than reactive,” Member Pete Duda added.

Other Personnel

In other business, members voted unanimously on Cincoski’s recommendation to promote Probationary Officer William Scheiderer to Officer 1st Class, bypassing the rank of Officer 2nd Class, given Scheiderer’s prior years of experience with another department.

March 10 marked Scheiderer’s six-month anniversary with the department, and under the CPD Rules & Regulations an officer can be promoted directly to 1st Class when he or she can demonstrate conduct, knowledge, and learning appropriate to that level.

Meanwhile, Probationary Officer Adam Alicea has “excellent standing” at the Northwest Indiana Law Enforcement Academy and will graduate in April, Cincoski said.

Cincoski also asked for and received from the commission authority to begin the process of recruiting additional volunteers for the CPD Reserve. At the moment there are only four Reserve Officers, with space for an additional 11.



Posted 3/19/2019




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