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It's an obvious question after a rash of pipe bombs and bomb threats in our Region in recent weeks.

How well do our Region law enforcement agencies communicate with each other to get to the bottom of such investigations?

The answer is a reassuring one.

Most Region law enforcement officials agree communication among local, state and federal law enforcement agencies operating in Northwest Indiana is at an all-time high. It bodes well for connecting the dots — or dispelling links — between various crimes.

A Major Crimes Task Force combines the strengths of Region police departments in investigating any major crimes — often homicides but not always.

This is a major boost in resources to police agencies in smaller Region cities or towns that lack the manpower or expertise of larger urban agencies.

A High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area cooperative combines dedicated representatives of local police departments with federal law enforcement agents in fighting crime and solving cases.

Lake, Porter and LaPorte county agencies are part of HIDTA. So are Indiana State Police officers.

The U.S. Marshals Great Lakes Task Force helps publicize the identities of Region fugitives, among other functions.

Individual police departments, including those along Ridge Road in north Lake County, have formed their own crime-fighting cooperatives based on common borders.

For all of its early logistical challenges, the consolidated 911 emergency dispatch services in Lake County also literally have opened new lines of communication between Region police agencies. A similar consolidation in Porter County has been in operation for several years.

The list goes on.

In the case of recent pipe bomb incidents in East Chicago, Valparaiso and LaPorte — and in bomb threats made in Griffith, Highland and Munster — we know from Region police officials that police departments in those municipalities aren't investigating alone.

Police agencies can't always comment about all the intricate details when matters such as these remain under investigation.

But at least we know our Region has the law enforcement communications and cooperative networks in place for holistic and thorough responses.

In a Region in which municipalities and counties historically have been known for throwing up imaginary walls, our law enforcement agencies are showing us a much more sensible model.


Members of The Times Editorial Board are Publisher Christopher T. White, Editorial Page Editor Marc Chase, Editor Bob Heisse, Politics/History Editor Doug Ross and Managing Editor Erin Orr.