EDITORIAL: Pool resources to fight crime better

2012-12-21T00:00:00Z EDITORIAL: Pool resources to fight crime better nwitimes.com
December 21, 2012 12:00 am  • 

Griffith, Highland and Munster are in the midst of forming a new task force that would increase the police presence in trouble spots, as identified by crime mapping.

It's good to see communities working together like this.

Highland Police Chief Pete Hojnicki received a $35,000 federal grant that will be used to pay overtime costs for additional patrols by the three-town task force.

The Griffith Town Council approved joining the task force Tuesday. The Highland Town Council agreed to it last week.

Griffith's interim police chief, Matthew Moore, has vowed to rid the town of the drug dealers he believes are using Griffith as a "safe haven." And we all know that criminals don't care where political boundaries lie. If they're pushed out of one community, they'll go to another.

That's the value of cooperating with adjacent jurisdictions. Working together, they can enhance law enforcement efforts, focusing resources where they're needed most.

These additional patrols should prompt another initiative to crack down on crime.

The Lake County Major Crimes Task Force was created to provide additional resources and expertise, especially when homicides and other major crimes occur outside the cities that see so many of these crimes that the police departments are sufficiently staffed and otherwise prepared for them.

The Good Government Initiative report by consultant Maximus Inc., you'll recall, recommended consolidating detective work on a countywide basis. The Major Crimes Task Force is a step in that direction. The detectives on that task force are paid by their own departments but serve under the direction of the task force's commander when called to duty for the task force.

That task force should be called out more often to both beef up the police response and to keep the task force active enough to make sure everything goes smoothly when it is summoned.

Lake County should see more of the police cooperation likely to occur in the Ridge communities.

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