EDITORIAL: Major cooperation on major crimes

2013-04-29T00:00:00Z EDITORIAL: Major cooperation on major crimes nwitimes.com
April 29, 2013 12:00 am  • 

The arrest of a suspect in the kidnapping and death of Mary Austgen shows what can happen when law enforcement agencies work together.

Ralph Martinez, 57, of Alsip, faces charges of murder, robbery and criminal confinement.

Police say he attacked Austgen, 76, of St. John at her family business in Griffith on March 28. Martinez is a former tenant at the business, Griffith Police Chief Greg Mance said.

Mance credited the following agencies for participating in the ongoing investigation:

  • Federal Bureau of Investigation.
  • Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
  • Northwest Indiana Major Crimes Task Force.
  • Lake County High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area task force.
  • Lake County Sheriff's Department.
  • Griffith Police Department.
  • Gary Police Department.
  • Alsip Police Department.

This is how crimes like this should be investigated. A smaller police department doesn't have the resources to investigate a major crime like this one.

Pooling resources -- as already happens with the HIDTA task force and the Northwest Indiana Major Crimes Task Force -- helps law enforcement professionals solve individual cases faster.

Bringing these resources to bear on a case soon after the crime occurs, while leads are still hot, makes it easier to solve the crime.

The extra officers were able to quickly follow up on tips from the public.

Griffith's police chief deserves credit for acknowledging his department needed help to investigate this case.

That's why the Major Crimes Task Force and other interagency efforts were created. It's good to see the process working as it should.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Follow The Times

Featured Businesses

Submit a Letter to Editor

We welcome letters from readers on any issue of public interest, and make every effort to publish as many as we can and in a timely manner. The Times will publish only one letter a month from a writer, and be sure to include your name, address and a telephone number for verification. Letters should be 150 words or less. They will be edited.

Letters may be submitted:
  • Via our submission form.
  • Via e-mail.
  • Via fax: (219) 933-3249 or (219) 465-7298
  • Via mail or by hand to our offices:
    • 601 45th Ave., Munster, IN 46321
    • 2080 N. Main St., Crown Point, IN 46307
    • 1111 Glendale Blvd., Valparaiso, IN 46383
    • 3410 Delta Dr., Portage, IN 46368
    • Please mark envelopes with "Attn: Letters"


Email Editorial Page Editor Doug Ross or call (219) 548-4360 or (219) 933-3357



Who do you support for Porter County commissioner?

View Results