the Porter Town Council approved a memorandum of understanding with
Chesterton that will combine radio-dispatch operations and detective bureaus
in both towns.
Porter police chief
James Spanier said he anticipates actual joint dispatch to begin in about
five or six weeks.
Residents in both
towns will see no difference when the consolidation is complete, and
emergency 911 calls will continue to be routed through the Porter County
E-911 center first.
The Chesterton Town
Council OK’d the MOU at its Monday meeting. Vote to approve by the Porter
council was 4-0 with member Elka Nelson absent.
councilman Emerson DeLaney was present for the Porter vote.
There was little
comment about the consolidation during the Porter meeting, but prior to it
Spanier told the Chesterton Tribune that the goal of the agreement is
to save money for both towns, and to comply with a state law that requires
there be no more than two dispatch centers in any county.
Like other area
cities/towns have done, Spanier said Porter or Chesterton could have
disbanded their respective dispatch operations and allowed Porter County
dispatch to handle its calls, but “we feel the county’s too busy and to take
us on wouldn’t have worked for them or us.”
Porter County E-911
supervisor John Jokantas has been extremely cooperative, said Spanier,
offering needed training on the Tiburon dispatch software for both Porter
and now Chesterton, which is acquiring it.
Porter’s police station was chosen for the dispatch operations because its
equipment had been upgraded more recently than Chesterton’s. The joint
detective bureau will be based in Chesterton.
affected employees of both towns are engaging in cross training, and they
will continue to be under the jurisdiction of each community’s Metropolitan
Board of Police Commissioners.
"I think this is a
really good thing,” said Porter’s top cop. “I’m sure other things will come
up, other things that we’ve not planned for, but the nice thing is working
with someone you totally trust.”
Road salting cut
member Jeannine Virtue, Public Works Department liaison, announced that for
the time being street crews will salt only intersections and hills due to a
Motorists are asked
to exercise special caution when driving at all locations around town during
Porter’s road salt supply is dangerously low with the town already having
purchased 110 percent of its contract amount through OneIndiana, a group
Porter that after reaching 120 percent the town will have to find another
supplier, which it is in the process of doing.
"We’ve gone through
a lot of salt as have all communities in the area,” said council president
Greg Stinson, who noted there is a shortage of road salt in the whole state.
Carol Pomeroy reported Indiana American Water Co. has reimbursed Porter
$32,457. Stinson said the amount is for a water-main break in Hunters Glen
subdivision that caused damage there. The council assigned the funds to the
Public Works Department, which cleaned out a flooded easement.
The council again
tabled discussion regarding security at Hawthorne Park.