Deadly robbery fuels push in M'ville for more police funding

2012-03-08T00:00:00Z 2012-03-08T10:55:04Z Deadly robbery fuels push in M'ville for more police fundingBy Chas Reilly chas.reilly@nwi.com, (219) 662-5324 nwitimes.com

MERRILLVILLE | Some town leaders want to pursue a property tax referendum to provide more funding to the Merrillville Police Department.

Sunday's slaying at Lucky Mart Foods contributed to Clerk-Treasurer Eugene Guernsey's decision to seek the referendum, he said.

Judi Simpson-Beaver, 48, of Merrillville, was shot to death during an armed robbery at the store. Jeremy Kale Blue, 20, of Merrillville, is accused of killing the woman and stealing an undetermined amount of money.

Guernsey said the department is short staffed. It's necessary to raise property taxes to hire more police officers and provide raises to the department, he said.

The town hasn't yet developed figures for the property tax referendum, Guernsey said.

Because of the preparation work, Merrillville would not be able to have its referendum on the ballot in May, he said. It could be on November's ballot, he said.

Guernsey said he has contacted Town Council members Shawn Pettit, Carol Miano and Don Spann about the referendum and they are willing to move forward with it.

A local attorney has agreed to provide free legal services to the town as it develops the proposal, Guernsey said.

Pettit said Merrillville has taken many steps to save money, including reducing staff, adjusting health insurance benefits and privatizing its emergency medical services, but the town needs more financial assistance to improve public safety.

"I don't know what else we can do," Pettit said.

He said the Police Department is doing a "phenomenal job" protecting the town on limited funds. He agrees more money is needed to increase the police force.

Pettit also would like the property tax referendum to increase funding for improving Merrillville's infrastructure, he said.

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.



About Merrillville

Town Hall

7820 Broadway Ave. Merrillville, IN 46410
219.769.5711
Fax: 219.756.6170

Police Department

7820 Broadway Merrillville, IN 46410
Emergency: 911
Non-emergency 219.769.3531
Administration: 219.769.3722
Crime Tip Hotline: 219.756.6180 ext. 54

Fire Department

26 W. 73rd Ave. Merrillville, IN 46410
Emergency: 911
Non-emergency 219.769.0004
Fax: 219.756.6170

Parks & Recreation

5750 Tyler Place Merrillville, IN 46410
Phone: 219.980.5911

Lake County Public Library

1919 West 81st Avenue Merrillville, IN 46410
Phone: 219.769.3541

Merrillville Community School Corporation

6701 Delaware Street Merrillville, IN 46410
Phone: 219.650.5300

Latest Local Offers

Featured Businesses