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Police Commission Meeting Minutes 2015

Meeting Minutes

01-12-2015 Police Commission

January 12, 2015 Police Commission Meeting Minutes

The January 2015 Regular Meeting of the Board of Metropolitan Police Commissioners of the Town of St. John was held on January 12, 2015 immediately following the Executive Session held at 6:30 P.M., as advertised, pursuant to law. Commissioner Hejl called the meeting to order promptly at 7:06 P.M., and then led the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance. Roll call was taken with the following members of the Police Commission being present; namely, Rose Hejl, Paul Haluska, Charles Sawyer, Robert Long, and Kevin Vana. Also present were Chief of Police Fred Frego, Town Councilman Kenneth Gembala, and Attorney David Austgen.

APPROVAL OF PREVIOUS MONTH’S MINUTES

November 11, 2014 Regular Meeting - Commissioner Haluska moved to approve the minutes as written from the November 11, 2014 Regular Meeting. With a second by Commissioner Sawyer, the motion carried unanimously (5-0).

CORRESPONDENCE / COMMUNICATIONS

There were no items of “Correspondence / Communications” brought up at tonight’s meeting.

POLICE DEPARTMENT’S MONTHLY REPORT

Chief Frego read the monthly report for December 2014. Chief Frego stated that from December 1, 2014 through December 31, 2014, the members of the St. John Police Department logged 15,975 miles and responded to 426 law incidents. The investigation of these incidents led to 16 adult arrests with 30 charges being filed, and 2 juvenile arrests with 3 charges being filed. There were 115 traffic citations issued along with 39 written warnings for a total of 154 citations being issued during the month of December 2014 by the officers of the St. John Police Department. Also during the month of December, vehicle thefts totaled $0.00, and all other thefts totaled $273.00. The total value of recovered property was $0.00.

OLD BUSINESS

Police Department’s Accreditation Process – Chief Frego stated he was glad to report the Department is in the final stages of the Accreditation Process, and are currently awaiting the mock assessment, which will probably occur next month. The proofs are in order, and he anticipates to be “good to go” by March.

HUMAN RESOURCES

Chief Frego requested the Commission’s approval to promote the next officer on the Eligibility List for Corporals; specifically, Detective Steven Flores. Chief Frego stated Detective Flores is a 10-year veteran of the St. John Police Department, who is currently assigned to the Investigations Division, and he is the only investigator the department has. Steve has been in Investigations for 2-1/2 years. Chief Frego stated Detective Flores has everything it takes; he requires little to no supervision, he is a natural leader, he is dedicated and loyal, and he is a good investigator. Detective Flores is good at what he does, and this is a way to reward him. Chief Frego stated he believes Officer Flores is a future leader of tomorrow. Before the Eligibility List for Corporals expires, Chief Frego stated he would like to promote Detective Flores to Corporal. Commissioner Haluska inquired as to whether Detective Flores, if promoted, would be taken out of Investigations and returned to Patrol. Chief Frego advised no; Detective Flores would remain in Investigations. Commissioner Haluska moved to approve the promotion of Detective Steven Flores to the rank of Corporal. With a second by Commissioner Long, the motion carried (5-0). Chief Frego thanked the Commission for their support in this matter and commented Officer Flores did not know of the Chief’s intentions to promote him, and he would be really surprised. Some discussion ensued.

NEW BUSINESS

Chief Frego queried whether the Commission had to appoint officers to the Commission for the new year. Since the Commission had appointed officers in the November 2014 meeting, Attorney Austgen suggested the Commission make a motion to ratify the appointments made in November 2014 for the Year 2015. Commissioner Haluska moved to ratify the officer appointments made in November 2014 to be carried through the Year 2015. With a second by Commissioner Long, the motion carried (5-0).

CHIEF’S COMMENTS

Chief Frego stated he would like to thank this Commission for another successful year and for their support during 2014. Chief Frego stated all the officers of the Department have good work ethics, and the new officers are doing well. The Department’s newest officer, Ronald Olson, will be finishing up his probationary period shortly. Chief Frego stated he was looking forward to moving ahead in 2015 and getting a few more things done that they had originally set out to do. In response to Commissioner Vana’s query, Chief Frego advised the length of the probationary period for an officer is one (1) year.

Chief Frego commented the Town of St. John has signed the agreement with County reference the 911 Consolidation.

ANY AND ALL

In response to Commissioner Hejl’s query, Chief Frego advised the Annual Tow Meeting will be held at next month’s Regular Meeting, as well as the Year End Report will also be available at that time.

Councilman Gembala commented the Town of St. John was recently recognized as one of the “Top 20 Towns in the Country for Safest Place to Raise Children.” This information can be found on a website believed to be called “Nerve Wallet” out of California. Chief Frego advised the Town of St. John was recently rated the #4 safest town in the State of Indiana, and the #1 safest town in Lake County, Indiana.

PUBLIC COMMENT

There were no matters of “Public Comment.”

MEETING SCHEDULE

The next Regular Meeting should be held on Monday, February 9, 2015. The Regular Public Meeting will begin at 6:30 P.M. There will be a Work Study Session only if deemed necessary. Any and all Executive Sessions will be advertised pursuant to law.

ADJOURNMENT

Commissioner Sawyer moved for adjournment. With a second by Commissioner Haluska, the motion carried (5-0). The meeting was adjourned at 7:15 P.M.

Town of St. John, Lake County
Indiana, Board of Metropolitan
Police Commissioners

______________________________
Charles Sawyer, Secretary

ATTEST:

________________________________
Joan M. Gorcos, Recording Secretary

02-09-2015 Police Commission

February 9, 2015 Police Commission Meeting Minutes

The February 2015 Regular Meeting of the Board of Metropolitan Police Commissioners of the Town of St. John was held on February 9, 2015 at 6:30 P.M., as advertised, pursuant to law. Commissioner Haluska called the meeting to order promptly at 6:30 P.M., and then led the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance. Roll call was taken with the following members of the Police Commission being present; namely, Paul Haluska, Charles Sawyer, and Kevin Vana. Also present was Chief of Police Fred Frego. Absent from this meeting were Commissioners Rose Hejl and Robert Long, as well as Town Councilman Kenneth Gembala. There was no legal representation present at tonight’s meeting.

ANNUAL TOW MEETING

The Annual Tow Meeting – As this was his first year on the Commission, Chief Frego explained to Commissioner Haluska each year the tow firms who tow for the Town are invited to the Annual Tow Meeting for the purpose allowing the firms to advise the Commission of any issues, problems, complaints, etc. At tonight’s meeting, there were representatives from Stan’s Towing, St. John Auto, and Emerald Towing. The representative from Stan’s Towing asked if anything was going to be done about the Police Department’s latest change, wherein the Police Department is not releasing vehicles on weekends. Chief Frego stated they are looking into this matter which came about due to a fee that is now being charged for Tow Releases. Currently, the fee has to be paid at the Clerk’s Office in Town Hall, and Town Hall is only open Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM. Chief Frego stated he has requested the Town to approve a Petty Cash Fund for the Police Department so that the Police Department can accommodate those persons who are looking to get their cars out of impound on the weekend or after hours in the evening. The St. John Auto representative stated he was having the same problem; that being, people need their cars on Monday, and they cannot get them out of impound on the weekend. Chief Frego stated hopefully in the very, very near future, the Police Department will be able to accommodate those people when they come for their tow releases. Chief Frego also stated he has been adamantly after the proper people to get the Petty Cash Fund established so that this situation is alleviated. The representatives of the tow firms advised they had no other issues.

APPROVAL OF PREVIOUS MONTH’S MINUTES

January 12, 2015 Regular Meeting - Commissioner Sawyer moved to approve the minutes as written from the January 12, 2015 Regular Meeting. With a second by Commissioner Vana, the motion carried unanimously (3-0).

CORRESPONDENCE / COMMUNICATIONS

There were no items of “Correspondence / Communications” brought up at tonight’s meeting.

POLICE DEPARTMENT’S MONTHLY REPORT

Chief Frego read the monthly report for January 2015. Chief Frego stated that from January 1, 2015 through January 31, 2015, the members of the St. John Police Department logged 18,972 miles and responded to 425 law incidents. The investigation of these incidents led to 20 adult arrests with 39 charges being filed, and 3 juvenile arrests with 8 charges being filed. There were 257 traffic citations issued along with 56 written warnings for a total of 313 citations being issued during the month of January 2015 by the officers of the St. John Police Department. Also during the month of January, vehicle thefts totaled $16,000.00, and all other thefts totaled $30,226.00. The total value of recovered property was $0.00.

CHIEF’S 2014 YEAR-END REPORT

2014 Year-End Report – Chief Frego commented that all Commissioners should have in their packets a copy of the 2014 Year-End Report, which he felt is self-explanatory. Chief Frego stated the report is a compilation of the whole year; i.e., the calls responded to, miles driven, tickets issued, etc.

OLD BUSINESS

Police Department’s Accreditation Process – Chief Frego stated he was at the Annual Indiana Chiefs of Police Association’s Conference in Indianapolis approximately two (2) weeks ago, and he had occasion to speak with Mike Dickson, who is running the ILEAC process. Mr. Dickson is aware that our Department is running right on schedule, and he is looking forward to coming to our department next month for the mock assessment. Chief Frego stated ILEAC just approved 37 or 38 additional standards, which the Department will be required to fulfill next year. Chief Frego explained that a mock assessment is where the people from ILEAC come in and review our progress to determine if we are doing good or bad. It is a huge amount of paperwork and filing, and the purpose is to make sure that we are doing everything that we say we are doing. Proofs of everything will have to be shown through inspections, copies of reports, and things like that. Commissioner Haluska asked Chief Frego to let him know when Mr. Dickson would be coming to the Department.

HUMAN RESOURCES

Chief Frego stated there was nothing to report at this time.

NEW BUSINESS

There were no items of “New Business.”

CHIEF’S COMMENTS

Chief Frego stated we all have suffered through the month of January with the snow storm that came in last week and the cold weather. The Department got through it with no major catastrophes and no accidents. Chief Frego stated everybody did a good job.

ANY AND ALL

There were no matters brought up under “Any and All.”

PUBLIC COMMENT

There were no matters of “Public Comment.”

MEETING SCHEDULE

The next Regular Meeting should be held on Monday, March 9, 2015. The Regular Public Meeting will begin at 6:30 P.M. There will be a Work Study Session only if deemed necessary. Any and all Executive Sessions will be advertised pursuant to law. Due to another matter the Commission is dealing with, Commissioner Haluska stated the March meeting is only tentative and it may be cancelled, and meetings will be held only when necessary until the other matter is resolved.

ADJOURNMENT

Commissioner Sawyer moved for adjournment. With a second by Commissioner Vana, the motion carried (3-0). The meeting was adjourned at 6:38 P.M.

Town of St. John, Lake County
Indiana, Board of Metropolitan
Police Commissioners

______________________________
Charles Sawyer, Secretary

ATTEST:

________________________________
Joan M. Gorcos, Recording Secretary

03-09-2015 Police Commission

March 9, 2015 Police Commission Meeting Minutes

The March 2015 Regular Meeting of the Board of Metropolitan Police Commissioners of the Town of St. John was held on March 9, 2015 at 6:30 P.M., as advertised, pursuant to law. Commissioner Hejl called the meeting to order promptly at 6:28 P.M., and then led the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance. Roll call was taken with the following members of the Police Commission being present; namely, Rose Hejl, Paul Haluska, Charles Sawyer, Robert Long, and Kevin Vana. Also present were Chief of Police Fred Frego and Police Commission Attorney David Austgen. Absent from this meeting was Town Councilman Kenneth Gembala.

APPROVAL OF PREVIOUS MONTH’S MINUTES

February 9, 2015 Regular Meeting - Commissioner Vana moved to approve the minutes as written from the February 9, 2015 Regular Meeting. With a second by Commissioner Long, the motion carried unanimously (5-0).

CORRESPONDENCE / COMMUNICATIONS

There were no items of “Correspondence / Communications” brought up at tonight’s meeting.

POLICE DEPARTMENT’S MONTHLY REPORT

Chief Frego did not read the monthly report for February 2015.

OLD BUSINESS

Police Department’s Accreditation Process – Chief Frego stated the Accreditation process was moving forward and is getting real close to completion.

HUMAN RESOURCES

Commissioner Hejl advised she had two (2) Interdepartmental Memorandums from Chief Frego. The first was a request to hire additional Reserve Officers. Commissioner Vana moved to accept the recommendation to hire additional Reserve Officers. With a second by Commissioner Long, the motion carried unanimously (5-0). Commissioner Hejl advised the second request was for authorization to hire an additional police officer. Commissioner Vana moved to authorize the hire of an additional police officer as recommended by the Chief. With a second by Commissioner Long, the motion carried unanimously (5-0).

NEW BUSINESS

There were no items of “New Business.”

CHIEF’S COMMENTS

Chief Frego stated he had no comments.

ANY AND ALL

There were no matters brought up under “Any and All.”

PUBLIC COMMENT

There were no matters of “Public Comment.”

MEETING SCHEDULE

The next Regular Meeting should be held on Monday, April 13, 2015. The Regular Public Meeting will begin at 6:30 P.M. There will be a Work Study Session only if deemed necessary. Any and all Executive Sessions will be advertised pursuant to law.

ADJOURNMENT

Commissioner Vana moved for adjournment. With a second by Commissioner Haluska, the motion carried (5-0). The meeting was adjourned at 6:30 P.M.

Town of St. John, Lake County
Indiana, Board of Metropolitan
Police Commissioners

______________________________
Charles Sawyer, Secretary

ATTEST:

________________________________
Joan M. Gorcos, Recording Secretary

04-13-2015 Police Commission Meeting Canceled
05-11-2015 Police Commission

May 11, 2015 Police Commission Meeting Minutes

The May 2015 Regular Meeting of the Board of Metropolitan Police Commissioners of the Town of St. John was held on May 11, 2015 at 6:30 P.M., as advertised, pursuant to law.

Commissioner Hejl called the meeting to order at 6:30 P.M., and then led the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Roll call was taken with the following members of the Police Commission being present: Rose Hejl, Paul Haluska, Charles Sawyer, and Kevin Vana. Also present were Chief of Police Fred Frego and Town Councilman Kenneth Gembala. Commissioner Robert Long and Attorney David Austgen were absent.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES

March 9, 2015 Regular Meeting - Commissioner Sawyer made a motion to approve the minutes as provided from the March 9, 2015 Regular Meeting. With a second by Commissioner Vana, the motion carried unanimously (4-0).

CORRESPONDENCE / COMMUNICATIONS

Commissioner Hejl advised there were no items of “Correspondence / Communications” for tonight’s meeting.

POLICE DEPARTMENT’S MONTHLY REPORT

Chief Frego read the monthly report for April 2015. Chief Frego stated from April 1, 2015 through April 30, 2015, the members of the St. John Police Department logged 16,094 miles and responded to 431 law incidents. The investigation of these incidents led to 18 adult arrests with 26 charges being filed and 4 juvenile arrests with 4 charges being filed. There were 195 traffic citations issued, along with 65 written warnings, for a total of 260 citations being issued during the month of April 2015 by the officers of the St. John Police Department. Vehicle thefts totaled $0.00. Other thefts totaled $5,995.00. Recovered property totaled $0.00.

OLD BUSINESS

Police Department’s Accreditation Process – Chief Frego advised the Department is three-quarters of the way through gathering proofs for the Accreditation.

Chief Frego further stated that Department has been in contact with ILEAC in Carmel, Indiana; namely Mike Dixon. The initial mock assessment will be done online through Power DMS. Chief Frego commented the ILEAC people in Carmel have access to all the documents the St. John Police Department has entered into Power DMS, and they can view and approve the proofs that are currently being gathered.

Chief Frego commented there are still a few officers who need to finish testing on the policies. Chief Frego advised everyone has to read all the policies and take the tests that follow as part of the proofs for the Accreditation.

Chief Frego said it has been a long process, but it is going along well. There were no questions from the Commissioners.

HUMAN RESOURCES

Request for Promotion of Officer to Corporal and Discussion on Filling the Vacant Commander’s Position – Chief Frego stated the retirement of Sergeant (Commander) Michael Fryzel has created two (2) open spots. Chief Frego advised the Department currently has an Interim Commander, which is Sergeant David Demeter. Chief Frego stated Sergeant Demeter was a Patrol Supervisor prior to filling in as the Interim Commander, and now his crew is minus a supervisor.

Chief Frego advised he is requesting to accept the next name on the Corporal’s Eligibility List, which is Michael Moffitt, and promote him to Corporal to fill the open spot. Chief Frego advised Officer Moffitt is a nine (9) year veteran, an excellent officer, has an excellent record, and he leads the department in arrests, and he is certainly deserving of this promotion.

Chief Frego stated he would also like to request the Commission’s approval to elevate Sergeant Demeter to the appointed rank of Commander. Chief Frego explained the rank of Commander is not a tested rank; it is an appointed rank granted by the Police Commission and himself. Chief Frego stated he recommends the Commission consider granting the appointment.

Commissioner Hejl advised she would entertain a motion to promote Officer Michael Moffitt to the rank of Corporal. Commissioner Haluska moved to promote Officer Michael Moffitt to the rank of Corporal. With a second by Commissioner Sawyer, the motion carried unanimously (4-0).

Commissioner Hejl stated she would entertain a motion to promote Sergeant Demeter to the rank of Commander. Discussion ensued to clarify that the rank of Commander is an appointed position, and not a permanent merit rank position. Commissioner Sawyer moved to promote Sergeant David Demeter to the rank of Commander. With a second by Commissioner Vana, the motion carried unanimously (4-0).

Chief Frego thanked the Commission.

NEW BUSINESS

Commissioner Hejl advised there were no items under “New Business.”

CHIEF OF POLICE COMMENTS

Chief Frego stated he already commented on the ongoing Accreditation process, and advised it is going well. Chief Frego advised everything else is going pretty good. Chief Frego mentioned the Department has a couple of new cars ordered. He stated the Department has been in the process of rotating the fleet vehicles, and he felt they were in pretty good shape.

ANY AND ALL

There were no matters of “Any and All.”

PUBLIC COMMENT

Mr. Joseph Hero, of 11723 S. Oakridge Drive, St. John, Indiana, stated that he submitted a Public Access Form for police commission minutes to the Clerk-Treasurer’s Office and has not received a response. Mr. Hero asked the Commission to check with the Town Manager and Clerk-Treasurer’s Office in regards to his request.

Mr. Hero further inquired as to the status of all the lawsuits and allegations against the sworn officer. Commissioner Haluska also stated the Commission cannot comment on those matters.

Chief Frego then advised the Commission that Mr. Hero asked the same questions at the Town Council Meeting, and the response from the Town’s Attorney and the Town Council President was that we cannot discuss it because it is under litigation. Mr. Hero stated the Commission has given him no response. Commissioner Hejl stated the Commission has a response and it is, “No comment.”

Commissioner Sawyer stated they are going to proceed based on the advice of their attorney. Mr. Hero asked if the Commission’s attorney was Attorney Austgen. Commissioner Sawyer stated that was correct. Mr. Hero stated he got the answer that he expected.

MEETING SCHEDULE

The next Regular Meeting should be held on Monday, June 8, 2015. The Regular Public Meeting will begin at 6:30 P.M. There will be a Work Study Session only if deemed necessary. Any and all Executive Sessions will be advertised pursuant to law.

ADJOURNMENT

Commissioner Haluska made a motion for adjournment. With a second by Commissioner Vana, the motion carried (4-0). The meeting was adjourned at 6:42 P.M.

Town of St. John, Lake County
Indiana, Board of Metropolitan
Police Commissioners

______________________________
Rose Hejl, Chairman

ATTEST:

________________________________
Charles Sawyer, Secretary

06-08-2015 Police Commission Meeting Canceled
07-13-2015 Police Commission Meeting Canceled
08-10-2015 Police Commission

August 10, 2015 Police Commission Meeting Minutes

The August 2015 Regular Meeting of the Board of Metropolitan Police Commissioners of the Town of St. John was held on August 10, 2015 at 6:30 P.M., as advertised, pursuant to law. Commissioner Hejl called the meeting to order promptly at 6:30 P.M., and then led the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance. Roll call was taken with the following members of the Police Commission being present; namely, Rose Hejl, Paul Haluska, and Charles Sawyer. Also present was Chief Fred Frego and Attorney David Austgen. Commissioners Robert Long and Kevin Vana, along with Town Council Liaison Kenneth Gembala, were not present.

APPROVAL OF PREVIOUS MONTH’S MINUTES

Commissioner Haluska moved to approve the previous minutes. With a second by Commissioner Sawyer, the motion carried unanimously (3-0). It should be noted the signed minutes given to the Recording Secretary at the conclusion of tonight’s metering were not the same minutes prepared by the Recording Secretary and presented to the Commission for approval.

CORRESPONDENCE / COMMUNICATIONS

Attorney Austgen reminded Chairman Hejl the Commission did receive a letter of communication from the Police Chief concerning the recommendation and imposition of discipline. Attorney Austgen stated he would request the solicitation of a motion and a second to authorize the Chairman of the Commission to issue notice to the affected officer. Commissioner Haluska moved to authorize the Police Commission Chairman to issue a letter to the affected officer concerning the issue at hand. With a second by Commissioner Sawyer, the motion carried unanimously (3-0).

POLICE DEPARTMENT’S MONTHLY REPORT

Chief Frego read the monthly report for July 2015. Chief Frego stated from July 1, 2015 through July 31, 2015, the members of the St. John Police Department logged 18,359 miles and responded to 507 law incidents. The investigation of these incidents led to 17 adult arrests with 26 charges being filed and 0 juvenile arrests with 0 charges being filed. There were 146 traffic citations issued, along with 33 written warnings, for a total of 179 citations being issued during the month of July 2015 by the officers of the St. John Police Department. Vehicle thefts totaled $0.00. Other thefts totaled $2,464.00. Recovered property totaled $0.00.

OLD BUSINESS

Police Department’s Accreditation Process – Chief Frego advised the department is in the very, very final stages of the Accreditation, and are working on the last element which involves auditing the Evidence Room. Chief Frego stated they are on schedule for the mock assessment in September. The final Accreditation check is scheduled for some time in the month of October.

HUMAN RESOURCES

Chief Frego stated there currently is one Reserve Officer in the Field Training phase. This Reserve Officer is doing well, and they are looking forward to getting him out on his own.

NEW BUSINESS

There were no items of “New Business.”

CHIEF’S COMMENTS

Chief Frego stated the Department hosted the National Night Out on August 4, 2015, and it was a nice event. Chief Frego commented he would like to publically thank the St. John Target and the Strack and Van Til’s in St. John for their very generous contribution and participation in our National Night Out. The St. John Target had a large staff present, and they supplied all the beverages and ice for the event, while Strack and Van Til’s supplied all the food (hot dogs, buns, etc.). Chief Frego stated he felt their participation really enhanced the partnership between the business community and the Town, and it aided in the safety of the Town. It was a nice event and hopefully, it will grow larger next year.

ANY AND ALL

There were no matters of “Any and All.”

PUBLIC COMMENT

There were no matters of “Public Comment.”

MEETING SCHEDULE

The next Regular Meeting should be held on Monday, September 14, 2015. The Regular Public Meeting will begin at 6:30 P.M. There will be a Work Study Session only if deemed necessary. Any and all Executive Sessions will be advertised pursuant to law.

ADJOURNMENT

Commissioner Haluska moved for adjournment. With a second by Commissioner Sawyer, the motion carried (3-0). The meeting was adjourned at 6:35 P.M.

Town of St. John, Lake County
Indiana, Board of Metropolitan
Police Commissioners

______________________________
Charles Sawyer, Secretary

ATTEST:

________________________________
Joan M. Gorcos, Recording Secretary

09-14-2015 Police Commission Meeting Canceled
10-12-2015 Police Commission Meeting Canceled
11-09-2015 Police Commission Meeting Canceled
12-14-2015 Police Commission Meeting Canceled
12-17-2015 Police Commission Special Meeting

December 17, 2015 Police Commission Special Meeting Minutes

A Special Meeting of the Board of Metropolitan Police Commissioners of the Town of St. John was held on December 17, 2015 at 6:00 P.M., as advertised, pursuant to law. Commissioner Hejl called the meeting to order promptly at 6:02 P.M., and then led the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance. Roll call was taken with the following members of the Police Commission being present; namely, Rose Hejl, Paul Haluska, Charles Sawyer and Kevin Vana. Also present was Chief Fred Frego and Attorney David Austgen. Commissioner Robert Long and Town Council Liaison Kenneth Gembala were not present.

APPROVAL OF PREVIOUS MONTH’S MINUTES

Minutes of August 10, 2015 Regular Meeting – Commissioner Haluska moved to approve the previous minutes from the August 10, 2015 Regular Meeting. With a second by Commissioner Sawyer, the motion carried unanimously (4-0).

CORRESPONDENCE / COMMUNICATIONS

Chairman Hejl read correspondence addressed to Chief Frego, dated December 16, 2015, from Geoff L. Robison, President of the Indiana Law Enforcement Accreditation Commission (ILEAC). Said letter congratulated Chief Frego and the St. John Police Department for the recent certification as an Accredited Indiana Law Enforcement Agency with ILEAC. Chairman Hejl congratulated Chief Frego on this accomplishment. Commissioner Haluska sends his congratulations to the entire Department on this accomplishment.

NEW BUSINESS

New Chief of Police – Chairman Hejl stated the Commission had before them a matter of recommendation to make to the Town Council reference a new Chief of Police for the Town’s Police Department. Commissioner Haluska moved to recommend the Town Council tender a conditional offer of employment with the Town of St. John Metropolitan Police Department to James Kveton on the following terms of employment, namely:
  1. Salary: He will start out at $88,374, which is the 2016 Chief’s Salary per Town Ordinance No. 1617. His job performance will be reviewed six (6) months after his start date, at which time he will be eligible for up to 6% salary increase at the discretion of the Town Council. This review and potential salary increase will be independent of any normal annual salary increase contemplated and/or given to all Town employees for 2017.
  2. Vacation: He will receive four (4) weeks of vacation at the start of his employment.
  3. Vehicle: He will be provided a vehicle; the one that the current Chief was given - a 2014 Ford Explorer unmarked.
  4. Sick Time: He will not be given any advanced Sick Time but will accrue Sick Time consistent with the current Town policy that covers the same.
  5. Teaching Part-Time: Jim Kveton has agreed that he would not teach beyond his current semester; thereby, terminating his teaching by January 1st, 2016.
  6. IACP Annual Conference – He will be allowed to attend this annual conference. This is currently allowed for the Chief of Police.
  7. Personal Days and Holidays: He will receive a total of twelve (12) days per year pursuant to the current Department policy.
  8. Uniforms: He will receive the normal Uniform Allowance given to all sworn police personnel. Currently, it is a $1,000.00 annually per Salary Ordinance No. 1617.
  9. Service Weapon: The Town will provide his service weapon, which will be the standard service weapon issued to all sworn police officers. Currently, the Department uses Glocks.
  10. Health, Dental, Vision and Life Insurance: He will be eligible to participate in the Town’s Benefits Plan that all full-time Town employees are eligible for. He will not be reimbursed in any way for current insurance that he has. It is his choice whether to participate or not in the Town offered Benefits Plan.
  11. Moving Expenses: The Town will reimburse up to $1,500 in moving expenses provided he provides the Town with receipts showing the costs that were actually incurred.
  12. Pension and/or Retirement: The Town will deposit $10,000 annually into an account to be used for this purpose. The Town will assist in setting up the account. The $10,000 annual contribution is all inclusive of costs to establish a plan, as well as a direct contribution into the plan.
  13. Residency: He shall be required, within fourteen (14) months from his start date of employment, to become a resident. It is understood that he will maintain a temporary residence that shall be his primary domicile as soon as possible after his start of employment. This temporary residence can be an apartment or a similar rental in Lake County, Indiana. He shall be readily available to respond to the needs of the Department.
  14. Cell Phone: Shall be provided by the Town, like in kind to the current phone issued to the Chief of Police (Samsung).

A second to the Commissioner Haluska’s motion was made by Commissioner Sawyer. There were no items of discussion related to the motion or the matters contained above. Commissioner Haluska then took a roll call vote, the results of which are:

Commissioner Paul Haluska – Yes
Commissioner Robert Long – Absent
Commissioner Charles Sawyer – Yes
Commissioner Kevin Vana – Yes
Commissioner Rose Hejl – Yes

The motion carried unanimously (4-0). This matter is referred to the Town Council for its consideration and action.

Chairman Hejl read a quote from Abraham Lincoln, that being: “I like to see a man proud of the place in which he lives. I like to see a man live so that his place will be proud of him.” Chairman Hejl stated this quote reminds her of the essence of Chief Frego as he was while being here. She stated it reminds her of how proud Chief Frego is to be the Chief of St. John, how proud he is of his Department and staff. She stated Chief Frego is always involved in the community, the events, the people, businesses and churches. Chairman Hejl stated that as everyone knows, Chief Frego is retiring. She commented it is hard for her to be making this speech and saying goodbye but at the same time, she wanted to wish him well. Chairman Hejl stated she was here the day Chief Frego started in 2004 and through it all, Chief Frego has been someone this Town and his Department could rely on. She advised Chief Frego has had many accomplishments during his tenure; such as placing an SRO in the Lake Central High School, the Department is now Accredited, equipment upgrades, training for his officers and staff. Chairman Hejl stated she wanted to wish Chief Frego all the very best on behalf of the Commission, and advised he will be missed. A round of applause was held for Chief Frego.

CHIEF’S COMMENTS

Chief Frego stated it has been an honor and a privilege being the Chief for St. John. Chief Frego stated he wanted to thank the Police Commission, both current and former members, as well as Town Attorney David Austgen, for the support and cooperation he always received from them. Chief Frego stated he wished them all the very best in the future. Chief Frego commented he will be around, and they might even see him in a meeting every once in a while. Chief Frego stated he wishes the new Chief the best of luck, and he hopes the new Chief enjoys the position as much as he did for the past 11-1/2 years. Chief Frego stated it is very difficult to leave. Chief Frego commented he has been in Law Enforcement for all or parts of five (5) decades starting in 1975, which is a long time but it has been very rewarding. Chief Frego stated Law Enforcement is a very noble and honorable profession and if he had a choice, he would do it all over again. Chief Frego thanked the Commission again for all their support. Chief Frego received a round of applause.

PUBLIC COMMENT

Mr. Joe Hero, of 11723 S. Oakridge Drive, St. John, Indiana, wished Chief Frego good luck on the road ahead. Mr. Hero asked the last name and spelling of the last name of the new Police Chief as he could not hear it when it was mentioned earlier. Commissioner Hejl advised the new chief’s last name is Kveton, K-V-E-T-O-N. Mr. Hero asked for some background information regarding the new chief of police (i.e., where he is coming from, what his experience has been, etc.). Commissioner Hejl advised he is a retired Chief from Elmhurst, Illinois. Commissioner Haluska stated the new chief has a Master in Science and Criminal Social Justice from Lewis University; a Bachelor of Arts from Lewis University; an Associate of Arts from Morton College; and an Associate of Applied Science and Education from Morton College. Commissioner Haluska also advised the new chief has roughly 30 years of Law Enforcement experience, and Mr. Kveton led a department of 122 employees. Further, the new chief has some very good positive ideas ahead for the Department, and Commissioner Haluska stated they are going to look for some very positive changes in this organization once the new chief steps in. Commissioner Haluska stated he did not want to steal the new chief’s thunder as he is sure the new chief will be interviewed, so he would leave it up to the new chief to divulge his ideas for the department. Attorney Austgen advised that Mr. Kveton’s resume is available to the public. Mr. Hero asked if Mr. Kveton was the Chief in Elmhurst, and Commissioner Haluska advised Mr. Kveton was a Deputy Chief in Elmhurst.

Mr. Hero advised it is his understanding there are currently three (3) officers on suspension from the Police Department, and he asked whether that left a shortage of police officers for services in Town. Chief Frego advised they have addressed the coverage issue by cancelling, unfortunately, some vacation days off, but the staffing is adequate at this time. Mr. Hero stated in all the years that he has lived in St. John, he has never seen that many suspensions. Mr. Hero asked if there is some correlation or connection with those suspensions and with the allegations that have been filed by other employees. Is this retaliatory in anyway? Mr. Hero asked for any insight into his questions. Commissioner Hejl stated that they do not have any insight into this matter. Attorney Austgen advised these are all personnel items, and they should not be discussed at this meeting. Mr. Hero stated it was a matter of public interest as to why there are three (3) suspensions. It seems like a very high amount, and Mr. Hero stated he is trying to figure out if there is a correlation between those suspensions and other maybe prohibitive activities that have been going on in the Police Department or Town. Mr. Hero asked whether the Commission would comment on this matter, and the Commission advised they were not going to comment.

Mr. Hero asked whether the new chief has been informed of all the allegations that have gone on by different people reference ticket fixing, and inappropriate happenings in the Police Department. Further, has the new chief been informed of all the investigations that have been going on, and does he understand what he is getting into when he comes here as Chief? Commissioner Hejl stated she does not know what the Town Council has spoken to the new chief about, so she could not answer that question. Mr. Hero asked whether the Police Commission has made the new chief aware of all the allegations that have been brought forward. Commissioner Haluska advised Mr. Kveton was pretty well aware of the allegations when he did his final interview before the Town Council and the Police Commission. Commissioner Haluska advised the new chief has a good idea of what it is going on as he (the new chief) has done his research, and he has done his homework. Commissioner Haluska felt the new chief was very well aware of everything that is going on. Mr. Hero asked how the new chief obtained his information. Did the new chief get his information from the Town Council or the Police Commission (or somebody that is a public official)? Commissioner Haluska stated he did not know exactly how the new chief obtained his information, but he suspects it was the Town Council that alerted him to what was going on, because the new chief made reference, in general terms, to some of the situations during his interview. Commissioner Haluska also advised that the new chief has been spending a considerable amount of time in Town talking to people, driving around, and getting to know things. Further, Commissioner Haluska stated this new chief is a cop, and he knows how to do an investigation. Mr. Hero asked Commissioner Haluska whether Mr. Kveton was fully prepared to take on these problems. Commissioner Haluska replied, “I certainly hope so.” Mr. Hero stated he felt it was most important that the new chief knows what he is getting in to. Mr. Hero thanked the Commission for their time.

ADJOURNMENT

Commissioner Sawyer moved for adjournment. With a second by Commissioner Haluska, the motion carried (4-0). The meeting was adjourned at 6:17 P.M.

Town of St. John, Lake County
Indiana, Board of Metropolitan
Police Commissioners

______________________________
Charles Sawyer, Secretary

ATTEST:

________________________________
Joan M. Gorcos, Recording Secretary

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