The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Local News

March 30, 2013

Elwood officials release community policing initiatives

ELWOOD, Ind. —

After a tumultuous 2012 featuring two late-year fires and an unsteady beginning to 2013 with an armed robbery of a local convenience store on March 21, city officials have decided they need to “step their game up.”

In an interview with the Herald Bulletin, Mayor Ron Arnold, Police Chief Sam Hanna and Public Information Officer Jeff Howe revealed several new community policing initiatives aimed at efficient use of police resources and introducing a young force to the community. Initiatives include downtown foot patrols, bike brigades, a police cadet program, Hispanic outreach and introduction of a citizen review panel.

Recent incidents have increased the urgency for the changes, but Hanna and Arnold said they’ve been working on the measures for the past year.

“The thing we’re seeing is that the community might not be looking at police with trust and familiarity, and we want to change that, especially with our young people,” Arnold said.

The revamped approach features several plans to bring law enforcement in closer contact with the public. Starting in April, EPD will use downtown foot patrols during each shift. While it’s not a new idea, Hanna said he wants the foot patrols to focus on meeting with residents and businesses during downtime.

“What we’re hoping this will do is raise security, make employees at businesses feel a little safer at night, and we also want to introduce ourselves to the community,” Hanna said. “We have some older officers, but we’ve also got a lot of young guys that the residents aren’t as familiar with. We want them to get to know the community.”

To that end, EPD will also start a spring bike brigade, which will focus on patrolling parks and school areas around the city. Hanna said the department is also expanding its K-9 program and will have a police dog working on every shift.

“We live in a city where drugs are a problem, and we have the ability to have a drug dog on every shift to help with that; it’s a bonus,” the police chief explained.

Hanna also said assistant chief Scott Bertram is working on connecting with high school students who might want to join law enforcement. He said the department wants to hire local people, and working with students is the best way to build a funnel for the department. Bertram will run a weight training and physical fitness program for high school students who want to get involved.

Arnold said he’s taking measures to reach out to the Hispanic community in the city, too. EPD has been working with John Davis, a volunteer bilingual officer, who is about to be hired part-time to help communicate with Spanish-speaking residents. Hanna said Davis has already been helpful on a number of cases, including three domestic violence incidents.

The city will also introduce a citizen review panel, a three-person board that will field any complaints citizens might have concerning police officers. Arnold, who will appoint the panel, said the purpose is to make sure anyone reporting a police officer won’t have to go to the police and feel intimidated or pressured to recant.

“I want to make sure our citizens will have an independent panel to review their complaint and investigate it so it can be properly brought to the chief’s attention,” Arnold said.

Find Jack Molitor on Facebook and @AggieJack4 on Twitter, or call 640-4883.

Text Only
Local News
  • NWS - HB0820 - Kennedy Google- JC 2 Google X captures heart, imagination of AU professor After spending the summer working at Google's secret research laboratory in Mountain View, California, Scott Kennedy has decided to stay.

    August 19, 2014 3 Photos

  • boydx.jpg Mississippi fugitive arrested in Anderson

    A Mississippi man arrested by U.S. Marshals Monday night agreed to be transported back to Mississippi during an extradition hearing Tuesday. But the man said he's concerned about how he'll be treated once he returns.

    August 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mother who brought gun to school pleads guilty

    A mother who admitted to bringing a gun to a meeting at her son's school in April pleaded guilty on Tuesday.

    August 19, 2014

  • Residential electric rates increasing by 9 percent The electric rates for residential customers of Anderson Municipal Light & Power will increase by 8.96 percent for the final three months of the year.

    August 19, 2014

  • Anderson facing Aug. 28 deadline on pact

    After months of extended deadlines concerning Anderson’s participation in the consolidated 911 dispatch center for Madison County, a final one has been set.

    August 19, 2014

  • What's Where: Aug. 20 Local meeting and events as published in the Wednesday edition of The Herald Bulletin.

    August 20, 2014

  • Local Briefs: Aug. 20 A compilation of local and state news as published in the Wednesday edition of The Herald Bulletin.

    August 20, 2014

  • Historic barn tour and workshop Sept. 19 Across Indiana, barns of all ages and types have been successfully rehabilitated for modern farming and other uses. On Sept. 19, Indiana Landmarks offers BARN AGAIN!, a workshop to help owners maximize use of vintage barns.

    August 20, 2014

  • NWS - HB0820 - Anderson Christian-SH-1 Anderson Christian School finds new home at local church After months of uncertainty, Anderson Christian School has found a new home at Southern Heights Christian Church, and classes will begin on Sept. 8, Tom Snell, school administrator, said on Tuesday.

    August 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Election board looking into voter fraud allegation The Madison County Election Board delayed a decision into allegations of voter fraud in the May primary until it can gather additional information. Brian Bell, who lost the Democratic Party‚Äôs nomination for sheriff by 48 votes to Scott Mellinger, raised allegations to the election board during a hearing Friday.

    August 19, 2014

August Staff Photos


Buy and browse more photos from The Herald Bulletin

More Resources from The Herald Bulletin
Auto Industry Book
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Facebook