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Police Commission Meeting Minutes and Recordings 2019

Meeting Minutes

01-28-2019 Police Commission Meeting Canceled
02-21-2019 Police Commission

February 21, 2019 Police Commission Meeting Minutes

COMMISSIONERS   POLICE CHIEF
Christian Jorgensen, Chairman Charles Sawyer James A. Kveton
Speros Batistatos, Vice-Chairman TBD  
Paul Haluska, Secretary   John P. Reed, Special Counsel

CALL TO ORDER:

Commissioner Haluska called to order the St. John Police Commission Meeting on Thursday, February 21, 2019, at 5:29 p.m.

(The Pledge of Allegiance was recited by all.)

ROLL CALL:

Roll call was taken by the recording secretary with following members present: Speros Batistatos Paul Haluska, Charles Sawyer, and Christian Jorgensen. Staff present: James Kveton, Chief of Police; and John Reed, Special Counsel to the Police Commission.

Absent: None.

ELECTION OF OFFICERS:

Commissioner Haluska called for nominations for the Chairman, Vice Chairman, and Secretary.

Commissioner Batistatos nominated Christian Jorgensen as Chairman, Speros Batistatos as Vice Chairman, and Paul Haluska as Secretary. Seconded by Commissioner Sawyer.

Hearing no further nominations, Commissioner Haluska called for a vote. Nominations carried 4 ayes to 0 nays.

Commissioner Haluska congratulated Commissioner Jorgensen and passed the gavel.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

Commissioner Jorgensen deferred the approval of minutes.

CORRESPONDENCE – COMMUNICATIONS:

A. 2018 Annual Training Report
Chief Kveton reported that the Annual Training Report has been disseminated to the Commissioners electronically. The goal for 2018 was to increase the average training per officer to 30 hours per officer, which has been accomplished.
B. 2018 Annual Year in Review
Chief Kveton passed out the Annual Report of the Police Department. The activities and calls for service levels increased by 10 percent, generally across the board, with some categories going up by 23 percent.

Chief Kveton gave accolades to all who assisted in putting the report together.

CHIEF’S MONTHLY REPORT:

A. January 2019
Chief Kveton reported from January 1, 2019 through January 31, 2019, the members of the St. John Police Department logged 21,622 miles and responded to 562 law incidents. The investigation of these incidents led to 25 arrests with 33 charges being filed. There were 402 traffic citations issued, along with 170 written warnings, for a total of 572 citations being issued during the month.

Vehicle thefts totaled zero ($0); other thefts totaled $17,424; and recovered property totaled, zero ($0).

OLD BUSINESS:

A. Counsel Report and Recommendation to Town Council RE: Chief Kveton
Commissioner Jorgensen made a few statements for those in attendance to provide background prior to reading the report into the record.
  1. There was an incident in July of 2018 involving the Chief and Corporal Moffitt.
  2. Upon receiving the complaint, the Police Commission hired Steve Pestikas, a respected investigator, to perform an independent investigation of the incident, speak with any and all witnesses and to those that may have knowledge of the incident itself.
  3. There has not been a Police Commission Regular Meeting since August of 2018.
  4. The Police Commission has retained Special Counsel John Reed to review the information and independent investigation that was conducted.
  5. Commissioner Batistatos and Commissioner Jorgensen were not privy to any of the information as they were not on the Police Commission in 2018.
  6. Commissioner Jorgensen was the Town Council President at that time; however, neither he nor the Town Council had any involvement or participation in the investigation of any of these matters.
  7. At the Police Commission’s request, Mr. Reed prepared an evaluation and a summary of the information and investigation that occurred in July of 2018. The contents of the report will be made public, and you will all be able to have a copy; however, there is information referenced in this report that is confidential and will not be made public pursuant to Indiana Statute.

Commissioner Jorgensen advised that Corporal Moffitt wishes to make a comment and that then he would read Mr. Reed’s report, in a paraphrased manner, into the record. He, then advised that after Corporal Moffitt speaks, the Commission will make a motion for a recommendation to the Town Council as to: One, whether any disciplinary action should be taken against the Chief; or two, whether any further investigation should be made into the incident itself.

Commissioner Jorgensen advised that only the Town Council has the authority to discipline the Chief and that it may perform any additional inquiry that it sees fit. The Police Commission is an investigative body, and they make a recommendation to the Town Council, who is the final authority.

Commissioner Jorgensen turned the floor over to Corporal Moffitt.

Corporal Moffitt addressed the Commissioners and the public and stated that he has been on the St. John Police Department for 15 years and is a corporal on the police department. Corporal Moffitt stated that he was ordered to prepare a written report on an incident that occurred between himself and Chief Kveton on July 9, 2018. He said, “It was not my wish to prepare that report; rather, I was ordered to by a superior officer.”

Corporal Moffitt advised that he has fully cooperated with the internal investigation concerning the incident that took place on July 9. He then said, “I am satisfied with the outcome of this investigation. I seek no further discipline of any member of the St. John Police Department, including Chief Kveton.”

Commissioner Jorgensen thanked Corporal Moffitt for stepping forward and offering his statement.

Commissioner Batistatos recommended that Commissioner Jorgensen read the letter verbatim.

Commissioner Jorgensen read Mr. Reed’s letter into the record verbatim.

(A copy of the letter of opinion is attached hereto and made a part thereof as Exhibit No. 2019-02-21 SJBMPC.)

Commissioner Jorgensen explained that “clear and convincing evidence” is a higher degree of evidence than what would be required under a “preponderance” standard. It is not quite “beyond a reasonable doubt” but is significantly higher than a preponderance.

Motion to send a recommendation to the Town Council that no further action be taken in this investigation and that it be concluded by Commissioner Batistatos. Seconded by Commissioner Haluska. Motion carries 4 ayes to 0 nays.

Commissioner Jorgensen stated that he believes in conjunction to that motion, they will be forwarding all the materials to the Town Council for their independent review.

Commissioner Batistatos amended his motion to reflect the same. Amended motion seconded by Commissioner Haluska. Amended motion carries 4 ayes to 0 nays.

HUMAN RESOURCES:

None was had.

NEW BUSINESS:

None was had.

ANY AND ALL:

None was had.

MEETING SCHEDULE:

Commissioner Jorgensen advised that the February 25, 2019 Regular Meeting is cancelled. He further advised that the next Executive Session and Regular Meeting scheduled for March 25, 2019 will be held on March 21, 2019, at 5:00 p.m. and 5:30 p.m., respectively, contingent on the meeting schedule of the room. Work Study will be announced, if necessary.

ADJOURNMENT:

Commissioner Jorgensen entertained a motion to adjourn. Motion to adjourn by Commissioner Haluska. Seconded by Commissioner Batistatos. Motion carried 4 ayes to 0 nays.

(Commissioner Jorgensen adjourned the meeting at 5:42 p.m.)

Respectfully Submitted:

Margaret R. Abernathy, Recording Secretary
St. John Police Commission

02-25-2019 Police Commission Rescheduled to 02-21-2019
03-21-2019 Police Commission

March 21, 2019 Police Commission Meeting Minutes

COMMISSIONERS   POLICE CHIEF
Christian Jorgensen, Chairman Michael Aurelio James A. Kveton
Speros Batistatos, Vice-Chairman Charles Sawyer Rose Hejl, Town Council Liaison
Paul Haluska, Secretary    

CALL TO ORDER:

Commissioner Jorgensen called the St. John Police Commission Meeting to order on Thursday, March 21, 2019, at 5:29 p.m.

(The Pledge of Allegiance was recited by all.)

ROLL CALL:

Roll call was taken by the recording secretary with following members present: Michael Aurelio, Speros Batistatos Paul Haluska, and Christian Jorgensen. Staff present: James Kveton, Chief of Police, and Rose Hejl, Town Liaison.

Absent: Charles Sawyer.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

Commissioner Jorgensen advised that the next item on the agenda is the approval of minutes for the August 27, 2018 and the February 21, 2019 meetings.

Commissioner Jorgensen stated that he isn’t sure if there are enough members to approve the August minutes. Commissioner Haluska responded that there is a quorum.

Ms. Abernathy explained that it is on record in minutes where the Town Attorney had advised in the past that members can approve minutes from board and commission meetings that they did not physically sit on at the time of said meetings; otherwise, some minutes could never be passed.

Commissioner Jorgensen asked Commissioner Haluska if they appeared to be correct. Commissioner Haluska recommended approving the August 27, 2018 minutes.

Motion to approve the minutes for the August 27, 2018 meeting by Commissioner Haluska. Seconded by Commissioner Batistatos, only for the purposes of the minutes being entered legally into the record as he was not a member at the time. Motion carries 4 ayes to 0 nays.

Motion to approve the minutes for the February 21, 2019 meeting by Commissioner Batistatos. Seconded by Commissioner Haluska. Motion carries 4 ayes to 0 nays.

CHIEF’S MONTHLY REPORT:

Chief Kveton reported from February 1, 2019 through February 28, 2019, the members of the St. John Police Department logged 15,685 miles and responded to 546 law incidents. The investigation of these incidents led to 24 arrests with 39 charges being filed. There were 307 traffic citations issued, along with 206 written warnings, for a total of 513 citations being issued during the month. Vehicle thefts totaled zero ($0); other thefts totaled $5,385; and recovered property totaled $270.

Chief Kveton reported that there was a request from a citizen after the February Town Council meeting to investigate the payment of a check. He reported the findings of that investigation at the March 18 Town Council meeting, and they found that there were no improprieties or improper actions taken by the Town Council for that check.

Chief Kveton noted thank-you cards that were received: one for Officer Shane Adams and Match and one for Roger Patz for a talk that they did at Crown Point Christian School. Chief Kveton also noted that they received pastries and a thank-you card from the kids of a Cub Scout Troop that came for a talk and a tour by him.

Chief Kveton stated that he normally does a monthly “Breakfast with the Chief” on the third Monday of the month at 8 a.m. at Aspen Café. They have received suggestions that one be done in the evening, so on April 15th at 4 p.m., they are hosting a “Burgers with Badges” at Schoop’s.

OLD BUSINESS:

A. Towing Service RFP Submissions
Commissioner Jorgensen advised that the next item on the agenda is the Towing Service RFP submissions.

Chief Kveton advised that they have sent requests for proposals out to all the St. John towing companies as well as those within a 5-mile radius of St. John; three submissions have been received, which are still sealed.

With Commission approval, Chief Kveton opened the proposals and summarized the contents.

The proposals were from Stan’s Towing, 7967 Wicker Avenue, St. John, whose packet is complete; All Pro Towing, LLC, 1040 Kennedy Avenue, Suite 411, Schererville, whose packet is complete; and Kubiak Service, 10749 Wicker Avenue, St. John, whose packet only has one copy of everything instead of the required three copies.

Chief Kveton asked that the Police Commission take the proposals under advisement for a decision at the April meeting.

Commissioner Jorgensen asked if the Police Department can have three companies or if it only works with two and what the normal usage amount is. Chief Kveton responded that usage is typically a couple of hundred a year and that they have used two companies for the last couple of years and three companies the year before that.

Ms. Hejl asked for confirmation that we have to have one heavy towing company. Chief Kveton responded in the affirmative and stated that Stan’s would cover the heavy towing.

Commissioner Jorgensen asked if that is in the bids as to whether or not they can handle heavy towing. Chief Kveton responded in the affirmative.

Commissioner Jorgensen entertained discussion regarding the Police Department’s towing needs and past service. Chief Kveton stated that, as a result of officers’ complaints and concerns that were tracked over the last year, Mr. Kubiak and he have spoken with Mr. Kubiak’s son on a couple of occasions regarding some concerns with the service he provided. Some were valid concerns; other were dispatch errors, such as calling the wrong phone number. The concerns included delay in response, failure to answer the phone, and requiring additional equipment; however, the driver may not know what equipment is needed until they get to the site. Stan’s has had no complaints, and this is the first time All Pro has applied.

Commissioner Jorgensen entertained a motion to take the proposals under advisement.

Motion to take the proposals under advisement by Commissioner Batistatos. Seconded by Commissioner Haluska. Motion carries 4 ayes to 0 nays.

HUMAN RESOURCES:

Commissioner Jorgensen advised that the next item on the agenda is the distribution of Awards for Distinguished Service and Awards for Unit Citations.
A. Awards for Distinguished Service
Chief Kveton explained that with the help of his staff, they created a policy for recognizing officers in various categories. He then called up each officer, said a bit about that officer, and congratulated him or her on job well done.

i. Officer Hickenbottom

Awarded for having distinguished herself for coming to the aid of a citizen on June 2, 2018.

While on patrol, Officer Hickenbottom observed an elderly couple having a difficult time unloading supplies from a rented truck, which had to be returned by a certain time. She saw they were having a hard time and came to their aid by assisting in unloading the truck so it could be returned on time. The couple sent a letter praising Officer Hickenbottom.

ii. Officer Sidenbender

Awarded for having distinguished himself in a quick response in action on September 15, 2017.

Officer Sidenbender was monitoring a Lake County radio channel and heard a dispatch for Lake County Sheriff’s Department for an EMS situation where someone needed medical assistance. Being closer than the Lake County Units, he was able to get to the scene, force his way into the residence, evacuate the residence, and start first aid to the resident.

iii. Officer Patzschke

Awarded for having distinguished himself in the apprehension of suspects during a DHE initiative on August 15, 2018.

Awarded for having distinguished himself in the apprehension of suspects during a DHE initiative on January 3, 2019.

Chief Kveton explained that the DHE, Domestic Highway Enforcement, is a fully-funded program that allows off-duty officers to work enforcement duties outside of town limits to address things like transportation of drugs and drug money. In the first three hours that Officer Patzschke was on the street, he made a stop that resulted in a seizure of a significant amount of drug money; and on January 3, 2019, he made stop that resulted in a seizure of a significant amount of money from a money laundering scheme.

Officer Patzschke has been successful with several different types of arrests.

iv. Clifford Wroe

Awarded for having distinguished himself for exemplary project management in the development of the St. John Police Department multiple data sets published on the webpage.

Chief Kveton stated that the Police Data Initiative, a program promoting transparency, required three data sets to be put out over the Internet for a police department to qualify for this program. St. John was one of the first police departments in Indiana to participate in this program because Mr. Wroe was able to very quickly put together this program. It started out with 3 categories and is now at 17 categories.

B. Awards for Unit Citations
Chief Kveton stated that this next award is based on a team effort and called the officers to the front of the room.

i. Deputy Chief Demeter
ii. Commander Dahlin
iii. Corporal Moffitt
iv. Detective Widen

Awarded for a unit citation in the arrest and property recovery regarding an incident on April 9, 2018.

Chief Kveton summarized the incident, which started with a theft in Schererville followed by the offender fleeing to St. John, and stated that they were able to track down the offender and get him into custody because of the team effort of those officers working together.

The Commissioners thanked, congratulated, and shook hands with all the award recipients present

C. Plan Promotional List Testing Process
Commissioner Jorgensen advised that the next item on the agenda is the Plan Promotional List Testing Process.

Chief Kveton requested the permission of the Commission to allow him to move forward with planning a promotional testing process as the current lists for promotion to sergeant and corporal expire in November. It is a lengthy process, so he is requesting permission to get that started at this time.

Motion to authorize Chief Kveton to begin to identify a new Promotional List Testing Process by Commissioner Batistatos. Seconded by Commissioner Aurelio. Motion carries 4 ayes to 0 nays.

NEW BUSINESS:

A. Community Outreach
Commissioner Jorgensen advised that the next item on the agenda is Community Outreach.

Chief Kveton stated that Commissioner Batistatos asked that “Community Outreach” and “Fundraising” be added to the agenda. The department does community outreach already through different meetings, such as Burgers with Badges and Coffee with the Chief, and several officers teach at the schools. This is to look for any other ideas, suggestions, or plans to get the community more involved.

Commissioner Batistatos stated that he had received the St. John Golf Fund Raiser, so he called the Chief to see what other events go on. Commissioner Batistatos commented that it is important for the community, as well as for recognition of the safety that was recently covered by the media, that the citizens continue to interact in a positive way with as many members of the police force as possible.

Commissioner Batistatos commented that the Commissioners should talk about being supportive and being at all these community-outreach events. Perhaps, we can bolster the golf outing with more prizes or auction items or something to help raise more money to ensure our Police Department doesn't want for anything. Commissioner Batistatos feels that, as a board, it would be a worthwhile endeavor on the Police Commission’s part to support our men and women in uniform.

Chief Kveton advised that the St. John Police Association was initiated in order to do fund raising. They have had a “Dunk the Cop” and two different events of “Shop with a Cop”. They are discussing doing spring and/or fall cleanup for an elderly family or somebody who needs our help.

Commissioner Batistatos recommended partnering with the Fire Department to do things like a “Touch a Truck” and have squad cars and police dogs or do any event where it’s appropriate, safe, and encourages the community to have positive interactions with the very good men and women we have in uniform.

Chief Kveton stated that they have had an annual open house each year, usually in October; however, there wasn’t one this last year. The Fire Department usually sets that up. We could do something like that. Ms. Hejl mentioned National Night Out.

Commissioner Jorgensen commented that it is really important that everybody gets an opportunity to see officers and fire fighters in a friendly and welcoming capacity.

Commissioner Batistatos stated that we should all challenge ourselves as Commissioners to be at as many of these events as we can to show our support for the men and women in uniform.

B. Fundraising Discussed in conjunction with Item A, Community Outreach. C. Policy Approval – All Previous, Forfeiture, Buy Money Commissioner Jorgensen advised that the next item on the agenda is Policy Approvals.

Chief Kveton summarized the General Orders for the Commissioners.

i. General Order 2.13 – Uniforms and Appearance
ii. General Order 7.11 – Confidential Informants
iii. General Order 7.12 – Buy Fund
iv. General Order 7.12.1 – Asset Forfeiture Programs
v. General Order 7.40 – Automatic External Defibrillator

Commissioner Jorgensen asked if the police officers have been trained in the use of the defibrillators. Chief Kveton responded in the affirmative.

Commissioner Jorgensen entertained a motion for the adoption of the General Orders.

Motion to adopt the General Orders as listed by Commissioner Haluska. Seconded by Commissioner Aurelio. Motion carries 4 ayes to 0 nays.

Commissioner Jorgensen asked if the one General Order is in conjunction with what the Town Council passed. Chief Kveton responded in the affirmative and advised that there is an ordinance coming for the Buy Fund. Commissioner Jorgensen asked if we need to wait for the ordinance to adopt that General Order. Chief Kveton responded that we can adopt the policy; we just can’t work on it because we can’t get the money from the Clerk’s Office until the Ordinance is passed.

MEETING SCHEDULE:

Commissioner Jorgensen advised that the March 25, 2019 Regular Meeting has already been cancelled. The next Regular Meeting will be April 22, 2019 at 6 p.m. with an Executive Session at 5:30 p.m.

Commissioner Jorgensen advised that if the Executive Sessions have not been published for all meetings, for it to be noticed. We can always cancel the Executive Session if there is not one needed.

Work Study will be announced, if necessary.

ADJOURNMENT:

Commissioner Jorgensen entertained a motion to adjourn. Motion to adjourn by Commissioner Haluska. Seconded by Commissioner Batistatos. Motion carried 4 ayes to 0 nays.

(Commissioner Jorgensen adjourned the meeting at 6:11 p.m.)

Respectfully Submitted:

Margaret R. Abernathy, Recording Secretary
St. John Police Commission

03-25-2019 Police Commission Rescheduled to 03-21-2019
04-22-2019 Police Commission

April 22, 2019 Police Commission Meeting Minutes

COMMISSIONERS   POLICE CHIEF
Christian Jorgensen, Chairman Michael Aurelio James A. Kveton
Speros Batistatos, Vice-Chairman Charles Sawyer Rose Hejl, Town Council Liaison
Paul Haluska, Secretary    

CALL TO ORDER:

Commissioner Jorgensen called the St. John Police Commission Meeting to order on Monday, April 22, 2019, at 6:00 p.m.

(The Pledge of Allegiance was recited by all.)

ROLL CALL:

Roll call was taken by the recording secretary with following members present: Michael Aurelio, Speros Batistatos, Paul Haluska, and Christian Jorgensen. Staff present: James Kveton, Chief of Police, and James Reed, Commission Attorney.

Absent: Charles Sawyer and Rose Hejl, Town Council Liaison

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

Commissioner Jorgensen advised that the next item on the agenda is the approval of minutes for the March 21, 2019 Special Meeting.

Motion to approve the minutes for the March 21, 2019 Special Meeting by Commissioner Haluska. Seconded by Commissioner Aurelio. Motion carries 4 ayes to 0 nays.

CORRESPONDENCE – COMMUNICATIONS:

None was had.

CHIEF’S MONTHLY REPORT:

Chief Kveton reported from March 1, 2019 through March 31, 2019, the members of the St. John Police Department logged 27,521 miles and responded to 582 law incidents. The investigation of these incidents led to 31 arrests with 52 charges being filed. There were 436 traffic citations issued, along with 372 written warnings, for a total of 808 citations being issued during the month. Vehicle thefts totaled zero ($0); other thefts totaled $31,838; and recovered property totaled $1,232.

Chief Kveton reported that there have been reports on social media that were inaccurate that he felt it would be appropriate to address: First, there was concern about street coverage and the quantity of street coverage. As a result, a comparative analysis of the first four months of 2016 and 2019 was done.

January 2016 day shift had 2 officers working 94% of the time, and 2 officers working on the night shift 81% of the time. January 2019 day shift had 3 or 4 officers working 94% of the time, and night shift had 3, 4, or 5 officers working 87% of the time.

February 2016 day shift had 1 or 2 officers working 93% of the time, and 1 or 2 officers working on the night shift 75% of the time. February 2019 day shift had 3 or 4 officers working 83% of the time, and night shift had 3 or 4 officers working 97% of the time.

March 2016 day shift had 1 or 2 officers working 87% of the time, and 2 officers working on the night shift 55% of the time. March 2019 day shift had 3 or 4 officers working 87% of the time, and night shift had 3 or 4 officers working 81% of the time.

April 2016 day shift had 1 or 2 officers working 90% of the time, and 1 or 2 officers working on the night shift 77% of the time. April 2019 day shift had 3, 4, or 5 officers working 80% of the time, and night shift had 3 or 4 officers working 87% of the time.

Chief Kveton reported that there was concern about the officers being paid. Looking at the 2019 Salary Ordinance that was passed by the Town Council, first-year officers get paid $27.13 per hour; and first-class patrolmen, once they make their time, get paid $33.79 per hour; so a tenured officer does not get paid what a first-year officer gets paid, which is what was erroneously reported on social media.

Chief Kveton advised that it was reported on social media that our officers don’t get overtime or time-and-a-half pay. The Town rules for payroll mandates the police officers have to work 84 hours in a two-week period before receiving time-and-a-half. If one works overtime prior to making the 84 hours, then any overtime worked is paid at straight time instead of time-and-a-half.

Chief Kveton stated that in 2016 manpower was very low. The department was down five officers at one point due to internal investigations, lawsuits, and injuries; so there were times that only one officer was scheduled. Due to the shortage, officers were moved off of other shifts and officers were forced in on occasion. Chief Kveton noted that he had received permission from the Town Manager, wrote a directive at the Police Department through policy, and had the Police Commission approve the policy that allowed officers that were forced into work against their will to get paid time-and-a-half. At the end of 2016, those half hours that they were paid extra by that policy was subtracted by the Clerk-Treasurer from their paychecks.

Commissioner Batistatos asked if they had time taken away. Chief Kveton responded that compensatory time was taken away from officers at the end of 2016.

Commissioner Batistatos asked how St. John Police Department’s pay for officers stacks up, statewide, Chief Kveton responded that he was trying to do a study on that for the next Town Council meeting and for this Police Commission meeting; however, he wasn’t able to finalize that report. Chief Kveton noted that it is one of the top paid departments in the state. Commissioner Batistatos stated that he would be interested in having that information. Chief Kveton responded that he would have it at the next meeting.

OLD BUSINESS:

A. Towing Service RFP Submissions
Commissioner Jorgensen advised that the next item on the agenda is the Towing Service RFP submissions and asked Chief Kveton if he had a recommendation.

Chief Kveton recommended having all three companies, Stan’s Towing, Kubiak’s Towing, and All Pro Towing, approved for use for the next year on a rotating basis.

Mr. Joe Kubiak of Kubiak’s Towing asked to address the commission. Commissioner Jorgensen gave him the floor.

Mr. Kubiak stated that if there are three firms now and they had 100 tows a piece with only two firms, it will knock them down to 66 tows apiece. Chief Kveton responded that last year there were just two, Kubiak’s and Stan’s; however, in prior years they had three because they also had St. John Towing, so this is going back to what we had before.

Mr. Kubiak stated that he thought between Stan’s and their company, they did a pretty good job. Chief Kveton responded that there were some issues that needed to be addressed and that he believes the recommendation to have three services is fair.

Chief Kveton advised that according to policy four towing companies could be used.

Mr. Kubiak stated that it is splitting the towing thin. Chief Kveton responded they want to make sure that the officers get the tows as quickly as possible and that the equipment is there when it’s needed.

Commissioner Batistatos stated that we should be as inclusive as possible in an open and transparent manner as possible at a time where towing has become something of question in other jurisdictions so as not to have any questions as to how and why people get towing contracts in this town.

Motion to approve Chief Kveton’s recommendation to use all three towing companies, Stan’s Towing, Kubiak’s Towing, and All Pro Towing, including an open and honest process, by Commissioner Batistatos. Seconded by Commissioner Haluska. Motion carries 4 ayes to 0 nays.

Danny Lukasik of Stan’s Towing asked to address the Commission. Commissioner Jorgensen gave him the floor.

Mr. Lukasik stated that he wanted to go over the amount of towing that they are receiving right now. Last weekend they did one tow for the whole town. The weekend of the 13th and 14th, they had one tow. They have two guys on call all weekend. They do tow for other firms; but they only had one tow that weekend. The weekend of the 6th and 7th, they had no tows. They have all these guys constantly on call for the department, and there’s not enough towing.

Mr. Lukasik stated that he’s been towing since graduating high school in 2006, and he has never missed one call for the department yet, nor has their company.

Commissioner Haluska responded that they also tow for County and other departments in the area; so while he may have only had one tow from us over the weekend, they likely got more than that one tow over the weekend. Mr. Lukasik responded that there were four total.

Commissioner Jorgensen stated that he understands they have to make business decisions; however, the Police Commission has to make decisions based on what is best for the Town at large.

NEW BUSINESS:

A. Policy Approval – General Order 7.40 – Automatic External Defibrillator
Commissioner Jorgensen advised that the next item on the agenda is policy approval for General Order 7.40.

Chief Kveton stated that General Order 7.40 is for the AEDs. They will have a presentation at the Town Council meeting in May. Franciscan donated four AEDs for the officers to carry on the street. The Commission passed the policy on how to operate those units, after which, the Fire Department notified them that the policy needed an adjustment regarding AED use on children. There used to be different pads for children. Now, the same pads are used but maneuvered in a different way, so there was a change to the sentence relative to that procedure.

Commissioner Batistatos asked if it is the deletion in §V, item A. Chief Kveton responded in the affirmative.

Motion to approve General Order 7.40 by Commissioner Haluska. Seconded by Commissioner Batistatos. Motion carries 4 ayes to 0 nays.

MEETING SCHEDULE:

Commissioner Jorgensen advised that the next Regular Meeting will be May 20, 2019 at 6 p.m. with an Executive Session at 5:30 p.m. Work Study will be announced, if necessary.

ADJOURNMENT:

Commissioner Jorgensen entertained a motion to adjourn. Motion to adjourn by Commissioner Batistatos. Seconded by Commissioner Haluska. Motion carried 4 ayes to 0 nays.

(Commissioner Jorgensen adjourned the meeting at 6:11 p.m.)

Respectfully Submitted:

Margaret R. Abernathy, Recording Secretary
St. John Police Commission

05-20-2019 Police Commission Meeting Canceled
06-04-2019 Police Commission

June 4, 2019 Police Commission Meeting Minutes

COMMISSIONERS   POLICE CHIEF
Christian Jorgensen, Chairman Michael Aurelio James A. Kveton
Speros Batistatos, Vice-Chairman Charles Sawyer Rose Hejl, Town Council Liaison
Paul Haluska, Secretary   James Reed, Commission Attorney

CALL TO ORDER:

Commissioner Jorgensen called the St. John Police Commission Meeting to order on Tuesday, June 4, 2019, at 5:14 p.m.

(The Pledge of Allegiance was recited by all.)

ROLL CALL:

Roll call was taken by the recording secretary with following members present: Michael Aurelio, Speros Batistatos, Paul Haluska, Charles Sawyer, and Christian Jorgensen. Staff present: James Kveton, Chief of Police; James Reed, Commission Attorney; and Attorney William Enslen, Special Counsel.

Absent: Rose Hejl, Town Council Liaison.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

Commissioner Jorgensen advised that the next item on the agenda is the approval of minutes for the April 22, 2019 Regular Meeting.

Motion to approve the minutes for the April 22, 2019 Regular Meeting by Commissioner Batistatos. Seconded by Commissioner Haluska. Motion carries 4 ayes to 0 nays and 1 abstention by Commissioner Sawyer as he was absent from said meeting.

Motion to move item 7A under New Business, Promotion of Acting Corporal Olson to Corporal, to the next item on the agenda by Commissioner Batistatos. Seconded by Commissioner Haluska. Motion carries 5 ayes to 0 nays.

A. Promotion of Acting Corporal Olson to Corporal
Commissioner Jorgensen turned the floor over to Chief Kveton for the promotion of Acting Corporal Olson to Corporal Olson.

Chief Kveton congratulated Corporal Ronald Olson for his promotion and stated that he has been with the St. John Police Department for several years acting in many capacities, including the roles of a patrol officer, a detective, and a president of the police association. Chief Kveton noted that Corporal Olson instituted the “No-shave November” as a fund raiser, which has raised over $30,000 for St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital over the last three years.

Chief Kveton pinned the corporal’s badge onto Corporal Olson’s uniform. Applause and congratulations were extended to Corporal Olson.

CHIEF’S MONTHLY REPORT:

Chief Kveton reported from April 1, 2019 through April 30, 2019, the members of the St. John Police Department logged 19,937 miles and responded to 566 law incidents. The investigation of these incidents led to 21 arrests with 34 charges being filed. There were 339 traffic citations issued, along with 290 written warnings, for a total of 629 citations being issued during the month. Vehicle thefts totaled $24,500; other thefts totaled $14,397; and recovered property totaled $9,259.

Chief Kveton noted that there were approximately 18 unlocked vehicles that were burgled and stated that Detective Steve Flores reported to him that the Highland Police Department had a similar call including a car description and that one of their officers stopped a car fitting that description. One of the individuals looked to be identical to someone in the videos that were taken in town; additionally, one the offenders still had the wallet of one of our victims in his possession and used a credit card from that wallet to add money to a friend’s commissary account who is in jail.

Chief Kveton stated that Corporal Steve Rudzinski, who has been with the St. John Police Department for many years and has been in law enforcement for 37 years, starting in Cedar Lake, is retiring. Chief Kveton stated that his last day was May 31st and congratulated him. Applause and congratulations were extended to Corporal Rudzinski.

OLD BUSINESS:

A. Approve Schedule for Promotion Exam Process
Commissioner Jorgensen advised that the next item on the agenda is to approve the schedule for the promotion exam process and turned the floor over to Chief Kveton.

Chief Kveton stated that they would like to post the notice for the testing on June 10 for the written test to be given September 17 or 18 with oral interviews on either October 8 and 9 from 5-8 p.m. or October 15 and 16 from 5-8 p.m.

Chief Kveton requested that a waiver of the testing requirements from General Order 4.06-4.07, § Q, paragraph 2, III (E) 1, 5, and 7; and (F) 1 and 2, to allow all first-class patrolmen to test for the rank of corporal.

Motion to approve the schedule beginning on June 10 with written testing on or about September 17 or 18, culminating in oral interviews on/or about October 8 and 9 or October 15 and 16, by Commissioner Batistatos. Seconded by Commissioner Sawyer. Motion carries 5 ayes to 0 nays.

Motion to waive the sections, as applicable and as outlined by Chief Kveton, by Commissioner Batistatos. Seconded by Commissioner Haluska. Motion carries 5 ayes to 0 nays.

NEW BUSINESS:

B. Promotion of Acting Corporal Olson to Corporal
This item was moved up on the agenda.
C. Declaration of Manpower Emergency
Commissioner Jorgensen advised that the next item on the agenda is the Declaration of Manpower Emergency and turned the floor over to Chief Kveton.

Chief Kveton stated that the Police Department has a manpower shortage and needs to hire two new officers due to the retirement of Officer Rudzinski and the Town’s agreement to provide another SRO Officer for Lake Central School Corporation; therefore, he is requesting a Declaration of Manpower Emergency so that he can initiate an Emergency Hire Process.

D. Approval to Initiate Emergency Hire Process
Commissioner Jorgensen advised that Chief Kveton’s request brings us to taking action on a request to approve the initiation of the Emergency Hire Process.

Commissioner Haluska asked if the applicants will test or if it would just be oral interviews. Chief Kveton responded that there would be no physical agility test, there would be a written test, followed by an oral interview, and then a background investigation.

Commissioner Haluska asked how quickly this would take place. Chief Kveton responded that the information would be posted on June 10, the application deadline would be July 5, the written test would be on July 16, and oral interviews would be July 30 and 31.

Motion to approve the Declaration a Manpower Emergency and to approve the initiation of the Emergency Hire Process, which is to be posted on June 10, with the written test on/or about July 16 and oral interviews on/or about July 30 and 31, by Commissioner Batistatos. Seconded by Commissioner Haluska. Motion carries 5 ayes to 0 nays.

MEETING SCHEDULE:

Motion to hold an Executive Session on Monday, June 10, 2019 at 9 a.m. with a public meeting immediately following at 9:30 a.m. by Commissioner Batistatos. Seconded by Commissioner Haluska. Motion carries 5 ayes to 0 nays.

Commissioner Jorgensen requested that Chief Kveton get that properly scheduled. Chief Kveton agreed to the same.

ADJOURNMENT:

Commissioner Jorgensen entertained a motion to adjourn. Motion to adjourn by Commissioner Haluska. Seconded by Commissioner Aurelio. Motion carries 5 ayes to 0 nays.

(Commissioner Jorgensen adjourned the meeting at 5:28 p.m.)

Respectfully Submitted:

Margaret R. Abernathy, Recording Secretary
St. John Police Commission

06-10-2019 Police Commission

June 10, 2019 Police Commission Meeting Minutes

COMMISSIONERS   POLICE CHIEF
Christian Jorgensen, Chairman Michael Aurelio James A. Kveton
Speros Batistatos, Vice-Chairman Charles Sawyer Rose Hejl, Town Council Liaison
Paul Haluska, Secretary   James Reed, Commission Attorney

CALL TO ORDER:

Commissioner Jorgensen called the St. John Police Commission Meeting to order on Tuesday, June 10, 2019, at 9:33 a.m.

(The Pledge of Allegiance was recited by all.)

ROLL CALL:

Roll call was taken with following members present: Speros Batistatos, Paul Haluska, and Christian Jorgensen. Staff present: James Kveton, Chief of Police; and James Reed, Commission Attorney.

Absent: Michael Aurelio, Charles Sawyer, and Rose Hejl, Town Council Liaison.

Commissioner Jorgensen declared the presence of a quorum.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

Commissioner Jorgensen advised that the next item on the agenda is the approval of minutes for the June 4, 2019 Special Meeting.

Motion to approve the minutes by Commissioner Batistatos. Seconded by Commissioner Haluska. Motion carries 3 ayes to 0 nays.

OLD BUSINESS:

None was had.

NEW BUSINESS:

A. Personnel Matter
Commissioner Jorgensen advised that the next item on the agenda is a personnel matter and asked Chief Kveton to report on the matter.

Chief Kveton reported that an internal investigation that took place was submitted to the Police Commission at the previous Executive Session and that the matter is before the Police Commission for its consideration.

Attorney Reed advised that the recommendation was made at the Executive Session so no light is brought to potential evidence in the case until a full and fair hearing is had; therefore, an acknowledgment of Chief Kveton’s recommendation and a motion regarding the same would be the appropriate action at this time.

Commissioner Jorgensen asked if it is acceptable to publicize the name of the Officer that is involved at this time. Attorney Reed responded that it would be fine to do so.

Commissioner Jorgensen stated that the investigation summary that was presented to the Police Commission on Tuesday, June 4, was in regard to Officer Hickenbottom.

Commissioner Jorgensen asked Chief Kveton if he has a recommendation for the Police Commission in said matter. Chief Kveton responded in the affirmative and stated that the investigation was conducted by his staff and then submitted to him for a recommendation, and that recommendation is termination.

Commissioner Jorgensen entertained a motion regarding the termination of Officer Hickenbottom based upon Chief Kveton’s recommendation.

Motion to acknowledge the departmental investigation and Chief Kveton’s recommendation for dismissal and order Attorney Reed to provide notice to Officer Hickenbottom that she has five days to request a full hearing before the Police Commission by Commissioner Haluska. Seconded by Commissioner Batistatos. Motion carries 3 ayes to 0 nays.

Commissioner Jorgensen entertained a motion that any requested hearing be done at a public meeting.

Motion that any disciplinary hearing conducted or requested shall be done in the full view of the public before everyone to see by Commissioner Batistatos. Seconded by Commissioner Haluska. Motion carries 3 ayes to 0 nays.

Attorney Reed advised that he would send the notice out today.

MEETING SCHEDULE:

Commissioner Jorgensen advised that the next Regular Meeting is scheduled for June 24, 2019 at 6 p.m.; however, there may be a few people out of town so that meeting may not take place and notice will be given if it is cancelled. Executive Session and Work Study meetings will be announced, if necessary.

Commissioner Jorgensen asked that Attorney Reed keep the Police Commission apprised as to a response of any request for a hearing by Officer Hickenbottom so that it can be scheduled as soon as possible. Attorney Reed agreed to the same.

ADJOURNMENT:

Commissioner Jorgensen entertained a motion to adjourn. Motion to adjourn by Commissioner Haluska. Seconded by Commissioner Batistatos. Motion carries 3 ayes to 0 nays.

(Commissioner Jorgensen adjourned the meeting at 9:38 a.m.)

Respectfully Submitted:

Margaret R. Abernathy, Recording Secretary
St. John Police Commission

07-01-2019 Police Commission

July 1, 2019 Police Commission Meeting Minutes

COMMISSIONERS   POLICE CHIEF
Christian Jorgensen, Chairman Michael Aurelio James A. Kveton
Speros Batistatos, Vice-Chairman Charles Sawyer Rose Hejl, Town Council Liaison
Paul Haluska, Secretary William Enslen, Special Counsel James Reed, Commission Attorney

CALL TO ORDER:

Commissioner Jorgensen called the St. John Police Commission Meeting to order on Monday, July 1, 2019, at 5:31 p.m.

(The Pledge of Allegiance was recited by all.)

ROLL CALL:

Roll call was taken with following members present: Michael Aurelio, Speros Batistatos, Paul Haluska, Charles Sawyer, and Christian Jorgensen. Also present: James Kveton, Chief of Police; James Reed, Commission Attorney; and William Enslen, Special Counsel to the Chief of Police.

Absent: Rose Hejl, Town Council Liaison.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

Commissioner Jorgensen advised that the next item on the agenda is the approval of minutes for the June 10, 2019 Special Meeting.

Motion to approve the minutes by Commissioner Haluska. Seconded by Commissioner Aurelio. Motion carries 5 ayes to 0 nays.

OLD BUSINESS:

A. Personnel Matter
Commissioner Jorgensen advised that the next item on the agenda is a personnel matter and asked Chief Kveton to report on the matter.

Chief Kveton presented the Commissioners with copies of a letter and a charging document. Commissioner Jorgensen advised that the letter that was presented to the Police Commission is dated June 20, 2019, and addressed to him as chairman of the St. John Police Commission regarding internal investigation 19002, Disciplinary 2019-3, regarding Officer Hickenbottom.

Commissioner Batistatos stated that he had iterated at the previous meeting that during his tenure on the Police Commission, he would like all such hearings like this to be done during the light of day and subject to all open-door statutes. Commissioner Batistatos requested to read the charging document into the record.

Commissioner Jorgensen granted permission and prefaced Commissioner Batistatos’ reading of the document by paraphrasing the letter to him from Chief Kveton first.

Commissioner Jorgensen stated that Chief Kveton’s letter presented the charging document “Related to internal Investigation #19-002, which inquired into the actions of Officer Hickenbottom.” The charges and the Chief’s “resulting recommendation for Termination stem from events that occurred on March 19. 2019; the subsequent formal Internal Investigation #19-002 into those events, the findings of this investigation and the totality of the circumstances including Officer Hickenbottom’s past disciplinary history.” Commissioner Jorgensen explained that the letter summarizes what’s in the document that Commissioner Batistatos will read into the record.

Commissioner Batistatos read the memorandum to Officer Paige Hickenbottom from Chief Kveton, dated June 10, 2019, regarding Discipline No. 2019-3, into the record as follows:

“Incident Summary: On March 19, 2019, at approximately 11:10 p.m., while On Duty, Officer Hickenbottom responded with another officer to a family disturbance at 10818 Wicker Avenue. This initial call for service, which was reported as a verbal dispute between two brothers, was verbally resolved by the officers, and they cleared. Aside from a possible profane statement by the suspect brother, no disorderly behavior was witnessed by the officers. Officer Hickenbottom did warn the suspect brother that there would be an arrest made if officers were called back for a subsequent complaint at the residence.

On March 19, 2019, at approximately 11:39 p.m., while On Duty, Officer Hickenbottom was dispatched again to the same residence regarding an additional family disturbance. Upon the arrival of Officer Hickenbottom, she immediately took the suspect brother into custody for Disorderly Conduct without observing any Disorderly Behavior on the part of the suspect brother, thereby making an arrest without Probable Cause. The suspect brother was transported to and housed at the Lake County Jail by Officer Hickenbottom on the charge of Disorderly Conduct.

The report Officer Hickenbottom prepared as documentation of these events and the charging document lacked the Probable Cause to make this arrest, thereby not including the elements of the crime charged. When Officer Hickenbottom was asked about this lack of Probable Cause and, specifically, ‘When you went back to the house what was he (the suspect brother) doing?’ by Acting Corporal Olson, Officer Hickenbottom became defensive and responded, ‘Yelling and screaming like I said in my report.’ When confronted with her own report that did not include this information, she became sharp and disrespectful and stated, ‘What do you want me to say; I just, I physically just told you that when I got there he was yelling and screaming still.’ Both of these statements were not truthful.

Subsequently, Officer Hickenbottom changed the initial wording of her police report to wording that indicated she observed Disorderly Behavior, although she never made such an observation.

During the Formal Investigation and subsequent to being provided her Garrity Warnings, Officer Hickenbottom admits to making Untruthful verbal and written statements related to this arrest during the inquiry into her report and in the manner she amended her report.

These violations of St. John Police Department Procedures and Directives were made by Officer Hickenbottom willfully at a time that she had signed off on receipt of and training of St. John Police Department Procedures and Directives through the Power DMS System.”

Commissioner Batistatos advised that after 60 days, or so, of investigation by Deputy Commander Demeter, Detective Commander Flores, and Acting Corporal Olson, the following charges have been brought: 2.12 and 2.14-2(III)B(1), Violation of Law; 2.12 and 2.14-2(III)B(3), Respect Toward Superiors, Insubordination; 2.12 and 2.14-2(III)B(14), Public Image; 2.12 and 2.14-2(III)B(23), On or Off Duty Conduct; 2.12 and 2.14-2(III)B(27), Truthfulness; 2.12 and 2.14-2(III)B(37), Submission of Reports; 2.12 and 2.14-2(III)B(38, Willful Violation of Department Procedures and Directives; 2.12 and 2.14-2(III)B(39) Neglect of Duty; 2.12 and 2.14-2(III)B(50), Conduct Unbecoming an Officer; 2.12 and 2.14-2(III)B(60), Untruthfulness; 2.12 and 2.14-2(III)B(61), Perjury; all of which is in reference to violation of department policy and procedures numbers.

Commissioner Batistatos advised that the Police Commission Hearing for the matter involving this Police Investigation will be done before the public and open to the public at 9 a.m. on July 29, 2019.

Commissioner Jorgensen requested for Chief Kveton’s clarification that the investigation into Officer Hickenbottom was conducted by the three officers identified by Commissioner Batistatos. Chief Kveton responded in the affirmative.

Commissioner Jorgensen asked Chief Kveton if he reviewed their findings. Chief Kveton responded in the affirmative and stated that once the report and investigation were complete, the report was submitted to him along with all the documentation, all the video evidence, all the audio evidence.

Chief Kveton advised that he reviewed everything: He watched all the video, listened to all the audio, and read everything. He further advised that the evidence and the past disciplinary record of Officer Hickenbottom led him to the recommendation of termination.

Commissioner Jorgensen asked Chief Kveton if he had received any other recommendations upon receiving the initial reports. Chief Kveton responded that the initial report from Detective Commander Flores was for termination. Chief Kveton stated that he had sent that back with additional questions about the investigation, and Detective Commander Flores changed the recommendation to lighten it up to a suspension.

Commissioner Jorgensen asked if there are any other recommendations that were made by the other two officers. Chief Kveton responded no, not specifically to that, only to the specific details of the events and the past disciplinary issues that were involved.

Commissioner Jorgensen asked Chief Kveton if there is anything he would like to add to what was read in the charging document during this meeting. Chief Kveton responded in the negative.

Commissioner Jorgensen asked for any further comments or questions from the Police Commission. None was had.

Commissioner Jorgensen stated that there is not much more that they can do and that the Hearing is set for July 29, at which time, the evidence will be presented to the public.

NEW BUSINESS:

Commissioner Jorgensen asked Chief Kveton if there is an issue with the Corporal exam. Chief Kveton responded that he was approached by an officer regarding the date that was set for the written exam as that officer had already paid for a vacation during the week of the exam prior to the date being set and won’t be available. Chief Kveton stated that as a result he is in the process of surveying all the other officers eligible to take the test to determine the best date for the exam, and right now they are leaning towards September 9, 2019.

Chief Kveton noted that there are a couple of officers who are expecting children, and he wants to make sure everyone is able to make it, so he will approach the Police Commission with a date at a later time. Chief Kveton commented that the officers are all studying for their tests now.

Commissioner Jorgensen stated that a little flexibility should be considered. Chief Kveton concurred.

MEETING SCHEDULE:

Other than the aforementioned Hearing, no future meeting information was discussed.

ADJOURNMENT:

Commissioner Jorgensen entertained a motion to adjourn. Motion to adjourn by Commissioner Haluska. Seconded by Commissioner Batistatos. Motion carries 5 ayes to 0 nays.

(Commissioner Jorgensen adjourned the meeting at 5:42 p.m.)

Respectfully Submitted:

Margaret R. Abernathy, Recording Secretary
St. John Police Commission

07-22-2019 Police Commission

July 22, 2019 Police Commission Meeting Minutes

COMMISSIONERS   POLICE CHIEF
Christian Jorgensen, Chairman Michael Aurelio James A. Kveton
Speros Batistatos, Vice-Chairman Charles Sawyer Rose Hejl, Town Council Liaison
Paul Haluska, Secretary William Enslen, Special Counsel James Reed, Commission Attorney

CALL TO ORDER:

Commissioner Batistatos called the St. John Police Commission Meeting to order on Monday, July 22, 2019, at 6:44 p.m.

(The Pledge of Allegiance was recited by all.)

ROLL CALL:

Roll call was taken by the recording secretary with following members present: Michael Aurelio, Speros Batistatos, Paul Haluska, and Charles Sawyer. Also present: James Kveton, Chief of Police, and John Reed, Commission Attorney.

Absent: Christian Jorgensen and Rose Hejl, Town Council Liaison.

Commissioner Batistatos conveyed Commissioner Jorgensen’s apologies for his absence from tonight’s meeting.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

Commissioner Batistatos advised that the next item on the agenda is the approval of minutes for the July 1, 2019 Special Meeting.

Motion to approve the minutes by Commissioner Haluska. Seconded by Commissioner Aurelio. Motion carries 4 ayes to 0 nays.

CHIEF’S MONTHLY REPORT:

Chief Kveton reported from May 1, 2019 through May 31, 2019, the members of the St. John Police Department logged 20,097 miles and responded to 597 law incidents. The investigation of these incidents led to 25 arrests with 43 charges being filed. There were 298 traffic citations issued, along with 248 written warnings, for a total of 546 citations being issued during the month.

Vehicle thefts totaled $20,000; other thefts totaled $3,591; and recovered property totaled $20,187.

Chief Kveton then reported from June 1, 2019 through June 30, 2019, the members of the St. John Police Department logged 17,668 miles and responded to 610 law incidents. The investigation of these incidents led to 19 arrests with 37 charges being filed. There were 188 traffic citations issued, along with 186 written warnings, for a total of 374 citations being issued during the month.

Vehicle thefts totaled zero ($0), other thefts totaled $6,618, and recovered property totaled $354.

Chief Kveton recognized Officer Jacobs and Corporal Rybicki of the St. John Police Department and Corporal Sickles and Officer Shaffer of the Dyer Police Department for their valiant efforts, courage, and bravery while attempting to rescue two children from a tragic house fire.

Chief Kveton said, “They say police officers put their lives on the line every day; on that day, those Officers definitely put their lives on the line.”

Commissioner Sawyer stated that all four of those Officers are heroes and to please extend the Commission’s sincere thanks and appreciation for their work and what they do for us each and every day. Chief Kveton stated that it has been done and thanked the Commission.

OLD BUSINESS:

None was had.

NEW BUSINESS:

A. Emergency Hire Applications
Commissioner Batistatos advised that the next item on the agenda is regarding emergency hire applications and turned the floor over to Chief Kveton.

Chief Kveton stated that the applications, which were due about a week ago, were presented to the Commissioners today during an executive session for review. Out of seventeen applications that were received, nine applicants qualified to move forward. The letters notifying those nine applicants that they were selected to move forward will be sent out tomorrow.

MEETING SCHEDULE:

Commissioner Batistatos advised that there is a Special Hearing on July 29, 2019, at 9 a.m.; and the next Regular Meeting will be August 26, 2019, at 6 p.m. with an Executive Session at 5:30 p.m., if necessary. Work Study will be announced, if necessary.

ADJOURNMENT:

Commissioner Batistatos entertained a motion to adjourn. Motion to adjourn by Commissioner Haluska. Seconded by Commissioner Aurelio. Motion carried 4 ayes to 0 nays.

(Commissioner Batistatos adjourned the meeting at 6:49 p.m.)

Respectfully Submitted:

Margaret R. Abernathy, Recording Secretary
St. John Police Commission

08-26-2019 Police Commission Meeting Canceled
09-24-2019 BMPC1.pdf
09-24-2019 Police Commission

September 24, 2019 Police Commission Meeting Minutes

COMMISSIONERS   POLICE CHIEF
Christian Jorgensen, Chairman Michael Aurelio James A. Kveton
Speros Batistatos, Vice-Chairman Charles Sawyer Rose Hejl, Town Council Liaison
Paul Haluska, Secretary William Enslen, Special Counsel James Reed, Commission Attorney

CALL TO ORDER:

Commissioner Jorgensen called the St. John Police Commission Meeting to order on Tuesday, September 24, 2019, at 5:02 p.m.

(The Pledge of Allegiance was recited by all.)

ROLL CALL:

Roll call was taken by the recording secretary with following members present: Michael Aurelio, Speros Batistatos, Paul Haluska, Charles Sawyer, and Christian Jorgensen. Also present: James Kveton, Chief of Police, and John Reed, Commission Attorney.

Absent: Rose Hejl, Town Council Liaison.

MERITORIOUS AWARD:

Chief Kveton called Officer Sidenbender to the front of the room and presented him with a meritorious award, which would have been presented at the Town Council Meeting had Officer Sidenbender been able to attend said meeting.

Chief Kveton stated that Officer Sidenbender is receiving the award for responding to a call on March 13, 2019 along with Officer Adams and Officer Sandaker; wherein, a family was having a volatile situation with their son, who was in possession of a large kitchen knife. The team of officers were able to calm the situation and maintain a safe environment. Their sound judgement and utmost professionalism prevented a violent situation, and the issue was remedied peacefully. Officer Sidenbender was able to get the weapon away from the individual.

Chief Kveton, fellow Officers, and the Commissioners all congratulated Officer Sidenbender.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

Commissioner Jorgensen advised that the next item on the agenda is the approval of minutes for the July 22, 2019 Regular Meeting.

Motion to approve the minutes by Commissioner Haluska. Seconded by Commissioner Aurelio. Motion carries 5 ayes to 0 nays.

CHIEF’S MONTHLY REPORT:

Chief Kveton reported from July 1, 2019 through July 31, 2019, the members of the St. John Police Department logged 19,535 miles and responded to 662 law incidents. The investigation of these incidents led to 11 arrests with 19 charges being filed. There were 200 traffic citations issued, along with 182 written warnings, for a total of 382 citations being issued during the month.

Vehicle thefts totaled $22,000; other thefts totaled $890; and recovered property totaled $22,000.

Chief Kveton then reported from August 1, 2019 through August 31, 2019, the members of the St. John Police Department logged 17,271 miles and responded to 629 law incidents. The investigation of these incidents led to 20 arrests with 39 charges being filed. There were 194 traffic citations issued, along with 164 written warnings, for a total of 358 citations being issued during the month.

Vehicle thefts totaled zero ($0), other thefts totaled $8,821, and recovered property totaled zero ($0).

OLD BUSINESS:

A. Emergency Hire Applicants – Conditional Job Offers
Commissioner Jorgensen advised that the next item on the agenda is regarding the emergency hire applicants and turned the floor over to Chief Kveton.

Chief Kveton reviewed the activity leading up to this point in the emergency-hire process where two individuals were identified to be satisfactory candidates. Chief Kveton advised that their background checks came back clear and asked that the Police Commission approve the hiring of Neil Olson and Jeffrey Burk so he may give them a Conditional Job Offer.

Motion to approve awarding a Conditional Job Offer to Neil Olson and Jeffrey Burk by Commissioner Batistatos. Seconded by Commissioner Aurelio. Motion carries 5 ayes to 0 nays.

Chief Kveton advised that the emergency hire has already been approved by the Town Council, so no further action is required.

B. Disciplinary Matter – Officer Paige Hickenbottom
Commissioner Jorgensen advised that the next item on the agenda is regarding a disciplinary matter involving Officer Paige Hickenbottom and turned the floor over to Commission Attorney John Reed.

Attorney Reed presented a document entitled “Stipulation of Facts and Agreement of Discipline”. Attorney Reed advised that the document is the result of negations with Officer Hickenbottom and her attorney, M. Elizabeth Bemis of Ruckelshaus, Kautzman, Blackwell & Bemis, LLP, and read the same into the record.

(Said document is attached hereto and made a part thereof as Exhibit No. 2019-09-24-BMPC1.)

Commissioner Jorgensen stated that this agreement has been executed. Attorney Reed clarified that it has been agreed to and executed by Officer Hickenbottom, Attorney Bemis, and himself by affixing their signatures to said agreement.

Attorney Reed asked if Officer Hickenbottom or her attorney would like to make a statement regarding the agreement. Attorney Bemis responded that her client has a quick statement.

Officer Hickenbottom: I just want to say that indicated by my signature on the agreement, that I agree to the terms of this resolution; and I accepted my responsibilities. I’m sorry for my actions. I do appreciate this opportunity to return to duty and look forward to serving the St. John Police Department and the citizens for many years to come.

Motion to accept the “Stipulation of Facts and Agreement of Discipline” by Commissioner Batistatos. Seconded by Commissioner Haluska.

Roll-Call Vote:
Commissioner Aurelio Aye
Commissioner Batistatos Aye
Commissioner Haluska Aye
Commissioner Sawyer Aye
Commissioner Jorgensen Aye

Motion carries 5 ayes to 0 nays.

NEW BUSINESS:

None was had.

MEETING SCHEDULE:

Commissioner Jorgensen advised that the next Regular Meeting is scheduled for October 28, 2019, at 6 p.m. An Executive Session and/or Work Study will be announced, if necessary.

ADJOURNMENT:

Commissioner Jorgensen entertained a motion to adjourn. Motion to adjourn by Commissioner Haluska. Seconded by Commissioner Batistatos. Motion carries 5 ayes to 0 nays.

(Commissioner Jorgensen adjourned the meeting at 5:15 p.m.)

Respectfully Submitted:

Margaret R. Abernathy, Recording Secretary
St. John Police Commission

10-28-2019 Police Commission Meeting Canceled
11-25-2019 Police Commission Rescheduled to 12-10-2019
12-10-2019 Exhibits.pdf
12-10-2019 Police Commission

December 10, 2019 Police Commission Meeting Minutes

COMMISSIONERS   POLICE CHIEF
Christian Jorgensen, Chairman Michael Aurelio James A. Kveton
Speros Batistatos, Vice-Chairman Charles Sawyer Rose Hejl, Town Council Liaison
Paul Haluska, Secretary William Enslen, Special Counsel James Reed, Commission Attorney

CALL TO ORDER:

Commissioner Batistatos called the St. John Police Commission Meeting to order on Tuesday, December 10, 2019, at 5:30 p.m.

(The Pledge of Allegiance was recited by all.)

ROLL CALL:

Roll call was taken by the recording secretary with following members present: Michael Aurelio, Speros Batistatos, Paul Haluska, and Charles Sawyer. Also present: James Kveton, Chief of Police, and John Reed, Commission Attorney.

Absent: Christian Jorgensen and Rose Hejl, Town Council Liaison.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

Commissioner Batistatos advised that the next item on the agenda is the approval of minutes for the September 24, 2019 Special Meeting.

Motion to approve the minutes by Commissioner Haluska. Seconded by Commissioner Aurelio. Motion carries 4 ayes to 0 nays.

CHIEF’S MONTHLY REPORT:

Chief Kveton reported:

From September 1, 2019 through September 30, 2019, the members of the St. John Police Department logged 18,345 miles and responded to 633 law incidents. The investigation of these incidents led to 12 arrests with 35 charges being filed. There were 91 traffic citations issued, along with 78 written warnings, for a total of 169 citations being issued during the month. Vehicle thefts totaled $72,000; other thefts totaled $3,540; and recovered property totaled $801,500.

From October 1, 2019 through October 31, 2019, the members of the St. John Police Department logged 17,897 miles and responded to 575 law incidents. The investigation of these incidents led to 11 arrests with 29 charges being filed. There were 76 traffic citations issued, along with 97 written warnings, for a total of 173 citations being issued during the month. Vehicle thefts totaled zero ($0), other thefts totaled $33,601, and recovered property totaled $299. Chief Kveton noted that they have taken several reports for a theft type of case regarding a local business, which is the result of the high number of thefts.

From November 1, 2019 through November 30, 2019, the members of the St. John Police Department logged 19,237 miles and responded to 592 law incidents. The investigation of these incidents led to 15 arrests with 34 charges being filed. There were 154 traffic citations issued, along with 146 written warnings, for a total of 300 citations being issued during the month. Vehicle thefts totaled $23,000; other thefts totaled $58,497; and recovered property totaled $5,000.

OLD BUSINESS:

A. Sergeant Eligibility List
Commissioner Batistatos advised that the next item on the agenda is the Sergeant Eligibility List.

Chief Kveton advised that the Police Department has been working on both the Sergeant and Corporal Eligibility Lists, which included a written test, oral interview, and points per policy regarding schooling, military, Chief’s points, and so forth. The Sergeant Eligibility List will be certified as of December 10, 2019 and expire at midnight on December 10, 2021.

Chief Kveton read the list of Officers on the Sergeant Eligibility List and congratulated those Officers.

Commissioner Batistatos asked Attorney Reed what the procedure is for this. Attorney Reed stated that copies could be attached and be made part of the permanent record.

(Copies of the signed eligibility lists are attached hereto and made a part of the permanent record thereof as Exhibit No. 2019-12-10-BMPC1 and 2.)

B. Corporal Eligibility List
Commissioner Batistatos advised that the next item on the agenda is the Corporal Eligibility List.

Chief Kveton read the list of Officers on the Corporal Eligibility List and stated that The Corporal Eligibility List will be certified as of December 10, 2019 and expire at midnight on December 10, 2021.

Chief Kveton read the list of Officers on the Corporal Eligibility List and congratulated the Officers on that list

Commissioner Batistatos commended all the Officers on a job well done.

Commissioner Batistatos, Commissioner Aurelio, and Commissioner Sawyer commented on how impressed they all were with the Officers during their interviews with them.

NEW BUSINESS:

None was had.

MEETING SCHEDULE:

Commissioner Batistatos recommended that the next Regular Meeting and Executive Session, if needed, be on the second Tuesday of each month in 2020.

Motion by Commissioner Haluska. Seconded by Commissioner Aurelio. Motion carries 4 ayes to 0 nays.

ADJOURNMENT:

Commissioner Batistatos entertained a motion to adjourn. Motion to adjourn by Commissioner Haluska. Seconded by Commissioner Aurelio. Motion carries 4 ayes to 0 nays.

(Commissioner Batistatos adjourned the meeting at 5:41 p.m.)

Respectfully Submitted:

Margaret R. Abernathy, Recording Secretary
St. John Police Commission

NOTE: These minutes are hereby submitted without board approval as the board was abolished by Ordinance No. 1699, effective January 1, 2020.

2019-02-21 SJBMPC Exhibit.pdf

Meeting Audio Recordings

02-21-2019 Police Commission

03-21-2019 Police Commission

04-22-2019 Police Commission

06-04-2019 Police Commission

06-10-2019 Police Commission

07-01-2019 Police Commission

07-22-2019 Police Commission

09-24-2019 Police Commission

12-10-2019 Police Commission

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