Last month the
Chesterton Tribune reported that, per a new state law which took effect
on Jan. 1, juveniles 16 and older are now permitted to operate golf carts on
public roadways in Indiana with only a valid state-issued identification
That requirement is
a significant lowering of the previous threshold, which required
16-year-olds to possess a driver’s license in order to operate golf carts on
Police Chief Dave Cincoski reads the new law--the town’s golf-cart ordinance
will need to be amended to reflect Indiana Code.
story on the new law, published on Dec. 15, has occasioned at least one
response, however: an anonymous note sent to the CPD, in which the writer
speaks of teens “loaded into carts driving wildly on Waverly Road and
through Chesterton and Porter.”
The writer also
complains about slow-moving carts backing up traffic, parking in handicapped
spaces, ignoring traffic laws, and crossing Ind. 49; as well as about
golf-cart operators who are not required to obtain insurance coverage.
At the Police
Commission’s meeting Thursday night, Cincoski spent a few minutes responding
to the note. First, Cincoski said, while he believes that the new law would
require an amendment to Town Code lowering the threshold of responsibility,
he has asked Town Attorney Chuck Lukmann for his opinion on the matter.
said that he’s not familiar with Porter Town Code on the issue of golf carts
but that in Chesterton he would encourage all residents who see flagrant
violations of traffic law--or handicapped parking law--committed by
golf-cart operators to immediately report them to the CPD.
Third, should a
golf cart be involved in a traffic accident, there are civil remedies which
motorists can pursue in the absence of a golf-cart operator’s insurance
And fourth, Town
Code explicitly forbids golf-cart operators from crossing Ind. 49.
Chiefs of Police
In other business,
Cincoski told the commission that, late this month at its annual conference,
he will be elected to the position of vice-president of the Indiana
Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP). He will serve in that position
throughout 2018 and then assume the presidency in 2019.
Member Tim Scheerer said. “That’s an honor.”
“It is an honor,”
Cincoski acknowledged. “And work.”
Cincoski noted that
he will also be participating in a panel discussion on officer training at
the IACP conference.
reported that the CPD has received approximately half a dozen applications
under an emergency hire initiative approved last fall. Cincoski is looking
to offer a lateral transfer position to a sworn officer from another
department who has at least three years of experience and who has already
graduated from the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy. On successfully
completing a six-month probationary period, the officer would immediately be
promoted to 1st Class officer and receive that salary and benefits which go
with the promotion.
Cincoski said that
he’s scheduled written testing for the applicants on Jan. 30, after which
background investigations will begin on those who pass the tests.
reported that Probationary Officers Alexias DeJesus and Kaitlin Bruning will
begin their course of training at the Northwest Indiana Law Enforcement
Academy in Hobart on Jan. 22.
* The family of the
late Dirk Baer, former superintendent of the Duneland Schools and former
member of the Chesterton Police Commission, expressed its gratitude to the
CPD for its flower tribute at the funeral. Baer died on Dec. 24 at age 62.
Member Pete Duda said that he attended Baer’s visitation and spoke with
family members, who told him that “Dirk would speak about his time on the
commission all the time, how big a kick he got out of it.”
* The commission
expressed its own gratitude to Darlene Manuzzi for her generous contribution
of $500 to the CPD Gift Fund. “That’s very nice,” Scheerer said. “It’s
really very nice.”
* And Cincoski
expressed his gratitude to Heather Schlegelmilch of Avalon Springs Health
Campus, which on National Police Officer Awareness Day sent a goodie basket
to the CPD, which included--among other things--Lifesavers (“Because you are
one!”), Paydays (“Because you don’t do it for the money!”), and gum (“To
help your unit stick together!”).
December in Review
In December the CPD
responded to 687 calls (634 in November), filed 52 cases (63), issued 72
citations and 84 warnings (64 and 59), and investigated 44 accidents with
eight injuries (21 accidents with four injuries).
Calls for service
in December included 87 suspicious persons or vehicles (77 in November), six
thefts (12), three incidents of vandalism (five), one overdose (zero), 41
alarms (38), eight animal complaints (two), 226 traffic stops (220), one
missing person (one), two burglaries (one), 19 disturbances (24), six
reports of fraud (seven), and one runaway (four).