SCHERERVILLE | Months after establishing two new units within the Schererville Police Department, Chief David Dowling says he is pleased with their production.
In March, Dowling formed a unit to handle traffic accidents and violations and a special operations task force, which is focusing on narcotics enforcement in town.
Dowling said he believes the traffic unit has helped reduce vehicle crashes this year.
There were 520 crashes between January and May last year, Dowling said. During that same time period this year, the town had 499 crashes, he said.
Dowling said many accidents occur near the U.S. 30 and U.S. 41 intersection.
The unit, which includes a traffic supervisor and two officers, will aggressively enforce traffic regulations there to reduce the number of crashes.
So far, the unit has issued 141 citations and 136 warnings, Dowling said. The officers also have made 11 traffic arrests.
With the unit handling traffic issues, it provides more opportunities for other officers to patrol other areas and focus on different issues.
Dowling said investigations conducted by the special operations task force have resulted in 31 drug-related charges.
The task force has started working with the department's canine unit to investigate drug use in certain areas, he said.
The Police Department has received many tips about drug use in Schererville since the task force was established in March, Dowling said.
He continues to encourage residents to provide the department with information about potential drug offenses and other crimes. Anonymous tips can be made by calling (219) 865-4646.
Town Council President Tom Schmitt said he also is pleased with the results of the two new police units and he hopes their success will continue.
He said town officials wanted the Police Department to start new units to tackle trouble areas, which is a reason why Dowling was selected in January to serve as Schererville's police chief.