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 KPD Participating in County Program

December 5, 2007 - The Knightstown Town Council has given Knightstown Police Department officers permission to participate in an impaired driving interdiction program.

Knightstown Chief of Police Danny Baker briefed council members on the program during their November 21 meeting. Council member Steve Nelson said he was concerned that Knightstown officers would be assigned to patrol areas outside of town and that Knightstown would not be reimbursed for the use of their cars.

Baker told Nelson that the Henry County Sheriff's Department, the agency supervising the program, has discretion as to where officers are assigned. However, in light of Nelson's concern, Baker said he would ask the county if Knightstown officers could be kept south of Interstate 70.

Council member Valerie Trump said she thought the program would be a good experience for Knightstown officers, and Council President David Glenn said it would help the KPD build good relations with other law enforcement agencies. Council member Cort Swincher said he thought any negative aspects of the program would be outweighed by the positives.

Baker told The Banner last week that the impaired driving interdiction program is scheduled to begin this Friday, and will continue on December 14, 28 and 31. He said participating officers will be expected to make a certain number of "contacts" with motorists each hour of the 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. patrol shifts.

Acting on a recommendation from Baker, the council also voted at the November 21 meeting to adopt a new police department policy dealing with the use of the Advanced Taser, an electronic incapacitation device. Baker said the policy is modeled after the one used by the New Castle Police Department.

In other police business, Baker advised the council that the KPD's Chevrolet, a 2001 Impala, had been taken out of commission. He said the car was unsafe and that repairs were becoming more frequent and costly.

"I absolutely don't want to put another dime in it because it's a waste of money," Baker said. Although Council Vice President Nate Hamilton said it was OK with him, the council took no action on Baker's request for permission to strip the Impala and put it out for bid.

Baker said a $1,000 grant the KPD got from Sam's Club could be applied toward purchase of a used car to replace the Impala. He said he planned to check prices on 2003 and 2005 Crown Victorias being sold by the Lawrence Police Department in northeast Marion County.

The software program used by the KPD to generate reports is now back up and running, Baker told the council. He also expressed thanks to Brian Magee, who he said helped get the Sam's Club grant and assisted with the KPD's golf outing.

Trump reported that she and Swincher, who serve on the council's police committee, recently participated in a KPD training session. She said the officers did a nice job and that the training program was good.

"We're going to have a lot of this training," Baker told the council. "I observed some vehicle stops that really concerned and bothered me. … A routine traffic stop? There's no such thing." He said officers would soon be going through an "active shooter" training exercise.

Baker also reported that officer Dan Denny is doing well at the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy. He said Denny scored 98 percent on the criminal law portion of his ILEA training.

Updating the council on a neighborhood crime watch meeting that took place the week before, Baker reported that two dozen people had shown up. He said the group needs to write and adopt bylaws.

"It's not going to be quick," said Baker, "but it's progressing quite nicely."


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