Chesterton Tribune



State signs off on Chesterton CO detector ordinance

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Last year the Chesterton Town Council enacted an ordinance requiring the installation of a carbon monoxide detector in all new residential construction.

And it did so to some fanfare, being one of the few municipalities in the state at the time to put such an ordinance on the books.

The council then duly forwarded that ordinance for final approval to the Indiana Building, Fire, and Safety Commission (IBFSC), which without comment or explanation rejected it. An odd thing to do, as Associate Town Attorney Julie Paulson suggested to the council at its meeting Monday night, because the IBFSC had previously approved a similar ordinance enacted in LaPorte County.

The Chesterton Town Council promptly appealed the IBFSC’s decision. And Paulson was happy to announce on Monday that a majority of the members of IBFSC have re-thought their position and changed their vote to approve the CO detector ordinance.

“So your decision to appeal was well-considered because that commission doesn’t re-consider its decisions lightly,” Paulson said. “We can now publish the ordinance, after which all new Class II structures with fossil fuel-burning appliances must have CO detectors.”

CPD in the Duneland Schools

In other business, members voted unanimously to approve a revised memorandum (MOU) of understanding regarding School Resource Officers (SROs) between the Chesterton Police Department and the Duneland Schools.

An MOU has been in place for years, since the CPD first placed an SRO at the Chesterton Middle School, thanks to a federal grant. There are currently two CPD officers tasked to full-time SRO duty in the Duneland Schools: one at CMS, the other at Chesterton High School. “This is not necessarily a brand-new concept,” said Member Jim Ton, R-1st. “This updates an earlier MOU.”

Police Chief Dave Cincoski, for his part, noted that the MOU has been “a work-in-progress for a very long time,” and formally “spells out quite a few things.”

Among the terms of the MOU:

* Duneland Schools will pay the town $30,000 annually for each full-time assigned SRO.

* SROs must wear a “soft uniform” which clearly identifies them as police officers; shall wear their on-duty service weapon; and shall maintain regular routine patrol and supervision duties within the building and on school grounds.

* SROs shall not be responsible for instituting or enforcing school disciplinary measures, will not generally act as school disciplinarians, and will make no recommendations regarding school discipline. “SROs may be considered part of the administration team if asked by the building principal and act as a school official. When the SRO acts as a school official, the SRO may not take disciplinary action but will refer the incident to school administration for disciplinary action or another law enforcement officer for criminal action.”

* SROs “will not be assigned regular lunchtime duties, bus monitor responsibility, or supervision typically associated with school administration. However, within the scope of the roles, SROs may act on their own initiative to further educationally related goals.”

* In the event of the arrest or detention of a juvenile within the Town of Chesterton, the CPD will determine which school the juvenile attends and--if the juvenile is a Duneland Schools student--that child’s principal shall be notified by the investigating officer and given written notice that the child was taken into custody and the reason why.

* The results of any random drug test performed on student-athletes and student-drivers will not be provided to the CPD. “The purpose of (random drug testing) is not punitive in nature but is aimed at furthering the safety of the student population. The policy requires that the results of drug testing are to be held with the very strictest confidentiality.”



Posted 1/9/2018




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