The Chesterton Town
Council has raised the mandatory retirement age for a Chesterton Police
officer from 60 to 65.
It did so at its
meeting Monday night, where members voted 4-0 to approve the ordinance on
first reading, 4-0 to suspend the rules, then 4-0 to approve the ordinance
on final reading.
Darnell, D-4th, was not in attendance.
Since 1977, the CPD
has had an established mandatory retirement age of 60. It was the only
municipal department in Chesterton to have any mandatory retirement
age and one of only three PDs in Porter County to have one. The other
two--the Portage Police Department and the Indiana State Police--have both
set their retirement age at 65.
The problem, if
you’re a 60-year-old ex-CPD officer forced to retire: for the next five
years, until you hit the Medicare age of 65, you have to find a new job with
benefits, or pony up for health insurance yourself, or just go without.
Three CPD officers
have retired within the last four years: Sgt. Fred Shivalec in May 2010, at
age 58; Capt. George Nelson in April 2012, at 59; and Lt. David Adkins in
March 2012, at 58.
mandatory retirement age came to the council with a favorable recommendation
from the Police Commission, chiefly on the grounds that officers shouldn’t
be forced to retire before they’re eligible for Medicare.
As Police Chief
Dave Cincoski noted, in a memo to the Police Commission on the subject of an
increased mandatory retirement age, “At present-day rates, a retiring police
officer earns a pension of $21,330 after 20 years of service. Present-day
insurance rates for medical coverage range from $800 to $1,600 per month,
nearly to more than half a retiree’s pension.”
Attorney Chuck Parkinson noted on Monday that Indiana Code establishes a
mandatory retirement age of 70 for police officers employed by cities.
But the law “is silent regarding towns,” he said.
In other business,
members voted 4-0 to approve this year’s fire protection service contract
with the Westchester Township Board.
Under the terms of
that contract, the Town of Chesterton will be paid 83.6 percent of the
Township Board’s fire protection funding and the Town of Porter 16.4
percent, based on the number of calls each FD responded to last year in
unincorporated Westchester Township.
this year amounts to $31,600.
“It’s been the same
contract for years,” Fire Chief Mike Orlich said. “The actual amount
Manager Bernie Doyle announced that the new municipal website goes live on
In December the
council approved a three-year $25,000 contract with CivicPlus of Manhattan,
Kan., to tweak and manage the town’s website at