6 NW In­di­ana towns, cities make list of safest places in the state Mer­ril­lville ed­u­ca­tor re­ceives teach­ing award

Post Tribune (Sunday) - - News - By Becky Ja­cobs Post-Tri­bune

Six towns and cities in North­west In­di­ana have been named some of the safest places in the state.

SafeWise, a web­site that reviews and com­pares home safety and se­cu­rity prod­ucts, re­leased its rank­ings last month with a list of “In­di­ana’s 20 Safest Cities in 2018.”

St. John topped the list, fol­lowed by Crown Point in fourth, Dyer fifth, Mun­ster sixth, Grif­fith 15th and Mer­ril­lville 17th.

The rank­ings are based on the num­ber of re­ported vi­o­lent crimes, such as ag­gra­vated as­sault, mur­der, rape and rob­bery, from the FBI’s 2016 crime re­port sta­tis­tics per 1,000 peo­ple in each city. If there was a tie, prop­erty crimes, such as bur­glary, ar­son, lar­ceny and mo­tor ve­hi­cle theft, were fac­tored in.

If a city was be­low a des­ig­nated pop­u­la­tion thresh­old or didn’t sub­mit a com­plete re­port to the FBI, they were ex­cluded from the rank­ings, ac­cord­ing to SafeWise.

St. John Po­lice Chief James Kve­ton said he’s “very thank­ful and proud that the com­mu­nity has been rec­og­nized” as num­ber one. It’s a “joint ef­fort” be­tween the com­mu­nity, elected of­fi­cials and town de­part­ments, he said.

St. John had 3.23 per­cent vi­o­lent crime and 96.77 per­cent prop­erty crime, ac­cord­ing to SafeWise.

Kve­ton said he agrees that prop­erty crime is more preva­lent in St. John, such as shoplift­ing or peo­ple bur­glar­iz­ing ve­hi­cles. With the hol­i­days ap­proach­ing, pack­ages stolen porches, he said.

One of the ini­tia­tives St. John po­lice started to ad­dress prop­erty crime was the “9 p.m. rou­tine,” he said, where each night the depart­ment posts on its Face­book page to re­mind peo­ple to lock their ve­hi­cles and bring valu­ables in­side their homes.

Like St. John, Crown Point Po­lice Chief Pete Land said he’d like to see an im­prove­ment in prop­erty theft num­bers, es­pe­cially with peo­ple leav­ing their cars un­locked overnight.

Crown Point had 2.49 per­cent vi­o­lent and 97.51 per­cent prop­erty crime, SafeWise re­ported.

Land said his depart­ment has stepped up its traf­fic en­force­ment and made an in­crease in stops. It helps with traf­fic safety, but it also helps pro­mote a po­lice pres­ence and can help with fight­ing other crimes, he said.

Land said they have also worked on con­nect­ing de­tec­tives and the pa­trol di­vi­sion, so that of­fi­cers know what de­tec­tives are work­ing on and can look for in­for­ma­tion that might help in­ves­ti­ga­tions.

“The open line of com­mu­ni­ca­tion has re­ally helped,” Land said.

Dyer Po­lice Chief David Hein said he was “ex­cited” that his town was ranked fifth.

“I think the com­mu­nity de­serves it,” Hein said.

Dyer had 3.43 per­cent vi­o­lent crime and 96.57 per­cent, ac­cord­ing to SafeWise.

Hein said his of­fi­cers “cap­i­tal­ize on ev­ery op­por­tu­nity we can” to en­gage with the com­mu­nity, and

on he said he wishes ci­ti­zens would re­port more is­sues to his depart­ment.

“We hear way too of­ten, ‘I don’t want to bug you guys,’ ” Hein said, but “that’s what we’re here for.”

Mun­ster Po­lice Chief Steve Scheckel said his town’s rank­ing as sixth is “a trib­ute to the fine of­fi­cers out there work­ing very hard.”

Mun­ster had 2.12 per­cent vi­o­lent and 97.88 per­cent prop­erty crime, ac­cord­ing to SafeWise.

“Re­ally, our se­cret weapon is our res­i­dents,” Scheckel said. “Se­ri­ously. They call us if some­thing looks out of or­der. They don’t hes­i­tate to call.”

Grif­fith had 5.70 per­cent vi­o­lent and 94.30 per­cent prop­erty crime, SafeWise showed.

Grif­fith Po­lice Chief Greg Mance said, “We’re a very data driven po­lice depart­ment” that has an an­a­lyst who iden­ti­fies crime trends that pa­trol of­fi­cers can ad­dress.

Since the begin­ning of the year, the depart­ment has also had a so­cial worker who di­vides her time be­tween po­lice and schools to work with the com­mu­nity and help ad­dress is­sues that come up, Mance said.

“When it comes down to it, it’s also the hard work of the of­fi­cers and staff that, I be­lieve, de­serve the line of credit,” Mance said.

Mer­ril­lville po­lice fin­ished out the list of North­west In­di­ana towns and cities. Mer­ril­lville had 3.71 per­cent vi­o­lent and 96.29 per­cent prop­erty crime.

Deb­bie Ar­genta, arts ed­u­ca­tion in­struc­tor at Jonas E. Salk El­e­men­tary School in Mer­ril­lville, is one of 46 pub­lic ed­u­ca­tors to re­ceive the Cal­i­for­nia Ca­su­alty Award for Teach­ing Ex­cel­lence. The award high­lights ed­u­ca­tors from around the coun­try cited by their peers for their ded­i­ca­tion to the pro­fes­sion. Ar­genta will rep­re­sent the state at the Na­tional Ed­u­ca­tion As­so­ci­a­tion Foun­da­tion’s Salute to Ex­cel­lence in Ed­u­ca­tion Gala on Feb. 8 in Wash­ing­ton, D.C. Ar­genta, who also is the Hoosier ed­u­ca­tor of the year, has ini­ti­ated and led recog­ni­tion pro­grams to in­spire stu­dents to pur­sue art ed­u­ca­tion.

Valpo Col­lege of Busi­ness dean named to com­mit­tee

James D. Brodzin­ski, dean of the Col­lege of Busi­ness at Val­paraiso Univer­sity, has been se­lected for a three­year term on the AACSB Con­tin­u­ous Im­prove­ment Re­view Com­mit­tee.

The Con­tin­u­ous Im­prove­ment Re­view Com­mit­tee over­sees pro­cesses for con­tin­u­a­tion of busi­ness ac­cred­i­ta­tion to en­sure con­sis­tency of stan­dards ap­pli­ca­tion and eq­uity of rec­om­men­da­tions across teams and across pro­grams re­viewed. Brodzin­ski joined Val­paraiso Univer­sity as dean of the Col­lege of Busi­ness in 2012. He is re­spon­si­ble for the strate­gic lead­er­ship, co­or­di­na­tion and guid­ance of the col­lege. Brodzin­ski holds a Ph.D. in hu­man in­for­ma­tion sys­tems, a mas- ter’s de­gree in or­ga­ni­za­tional com­mu­ni­ca­tion and a bach­e­lor of fine arts in pho­tog­ra­phy, all from Ohio Univer­sity.

Ivy Tech Foun­da­tion awarded AT&T As­pire fund­ing

A $10,000 AT&T As­pire con­tri­bu­tion to the Ivy Tech Foun­da­tion has pro­vided a tech­nol­ogy boost to a data and se­cu­rity pro­gram aimed at high school stu­dents. The foun­da­tion will uti­lize the fund­ing to pur­chase routers, al­low­ing the school to fully im­ple­ment a state-of-the-art Data and Cy­ber Se­cu­rity Com­puter Lab in its com­put­ing and in­for­mat­ics pro­gram. Ivy Tech plans to re­cruit 100 cur­rent early col­lege and dual-credit high school stu­dents from North­west In­di­ana to par­tic­i­pate in the pro­gram each semester. The lo­cal high school stu­dents will as­sem­ble the routers on their own; the tech­nol­ogy will then be used to com­ple­ment class­room and lab ac­tiv­i­ties.

We­ichert, Re­al­tors — Wold Group adds new bro­kers

As­so­ciate bro­kers Chris­tine Suarez and Charlie Vasquez have joined We­ichert, Re­al­tors — Wold Group of Scher­erville. Suarez, who lives in Whit­ing, comes to the team with 10 years of real es­tate ex­pe­ri­ence, while Vasquez, a res­i­dent of High­land, is a newly li­censed agent. We­ichert, Re­al­tors — Wold Group, 746 E. Lin­coln High­way, is an in­de­pen­dently owned and op­er­ated We­ichert af­fil­i­ate. The of­fice serves North­west In­di­ana and South Sub­ur­ban Chicago.

Grant awarded to Ur­ban League of North­west In­di­ana

The Ur­ban League of North­west In­di­ana re­ceived a $10,000 grant from the Com­cast Foun­da­tion to sup­port its Dig­i­tal Lit­er­acy Out­reach pro­gram. The pro­gram is a col­lege prepara­tory and aca­demic achieve­ment pro­gram for mi­nor­ity youths. Serv­ing stu­dents in ninth and 10th grades, the pro­gram is de­signed to in­crease stu­dents’ tech­nol­ogy skills through STEM ex­plo­ration and ed­u­ca­tion and pro­vide the foun­da­tion to suc­ceed in higher ed­u­ca­tion and ca­reers.

Two of­fi­cers pro­moted to sergeant

The Val­paraiso Po­lice Depart­ment an­nounced the pro­mo­tion of two of­fi­cers to the rank of pa­trol sergeant. Mark LaMotte, a six-year veteran of the depart­ment, is a graduate of In­di­ana Univer­sity, Kel­ley School of Busi­ness, with a Bach­e­lor of Sci­ence de­gree. He also is a depart­ment field train­ing of­fi­cer and firearms in­struc­tor. Keith Perez, a nine-year veteran of the depart­ment, is a graduate of In­di­ana Univer­sity, School of Pub­lic and En­vi­ron­men­tal Af­fairs, with a Bach­e­lor of Sci­ence de­gree in crim­i­nal jus­tice. He also is a field train­ing of­fi­cer and firearms In­struc­tor and is part of the agency re­cruit­ment team.

— Staff re­port

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.