City of Portage, Indiana

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Criminal offenses on the decline for 2018

Northwest Indiana Times 

Bob Kasarda bob.kasarda@nwi.com, 219-548-4345

Jan 22, 2019 
 
PORTAGE — The city's overall crime rate fell last year, with violent crimes plunging by nearly 34 percent and no homicides for the third consecutive year, according to Portage Police Chief Troy Williams. This is the fifth drop in the rate during the seven years Williams has been at the helm.
Williams gave part of the credit to the department's patrol division.

"The men and women who serve in that division bring a level of professionalism and responsibility to our community that most communities aspire to have," he said. "They are our first responders and committed to the safety and security of all our residents and those who visit our community." The patrol division was also credited by Williams for significant drops in drunken driving incidents and vehicle crashes. "Patrol Officers were responsible for the arrest of the suspect from the Chase Bank Robbery, Old Town Liquor Burglary and the arrests of multiple burglary and theft suspects," he said.

Williams also gave a shout-out to the detective bureau, who he said helped secure last year's murder conviction of former Hammond and Gary police officer Kevin Campbell. The detectives also rearrested Sheaurice Major, who was charged once again with arranging the 2012 shooting death of Carl Griffith Jr. The detectives also made an arrest in the cold-case homicide of Jeremiah Higgins from 2009 by tracking down and arresting Dominique Smith, Williams said. They also arrested Gary resident Simmie Fluker in connection with a Feb. 12 fatal hit-and-run crash.

Reserve officers also greatly assisted the department, donating more than 2,600 volunteer hours, Williams said. He also thanked the department's clerical staff, the county's E911 dispatchers and the public for its support in the form of donations, crime tips and words of appreciation. The department placed a major focus last year on school safety, he said, developing and presenting active shooter survival programs for school employees in Portage, Lake Station and other regional schools. 

"Additionally, in the wake of the Parkland, Florida school shooting, we changed our response to alarms at schools to ensure more officers are arriving on scene in the event the alarm was triggered by an active assailant," Williams said. "The Portage Police Department strives to be the best department across the nation," he said. "Again, our officers are deeply committed to serving the community with compassion, honor and integrity."


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