CASEY RIFFE | THE TIMES
Porter County Jail inmate Chuck Romine works on framing
in a more secure door for the new Porter County
Sheriff's substation Monday in South Haven.
substation to open
readying office in South Haven Square
BY KEN KOSKY
SOUTH HAVEN |
Five years ago, Porter County Jail inmates like Charles
Romine Jr. renovated the run-down South Haven Civil
Defense building so the Porter County Sheriff's
Department could have a South Haven substation.
But police said they were forced out of the building
about six months ago when the township, which owns the
building, started placing homeless families there.
however, are bringing a substation back to South Haven
thanks to inmate labor from Romine and what police call
a generous lease offer from the management of South
Haven Square on U.S. 6.
The police have agreed to a $150 a month lease on an
800-square-foot office on the east end of the shopping
complex. Romine, who works construction when he's not
behind bars, is readying the space. Sheriff's Department
Chief Deputy David Lain said the substation is expected
to be finished and open within two weeks. He said a sign
will be placed out front to mark the location.
Lain said it is important to have a South Haven
substation so officers can stay in the community to
patrol and conduct business, rather than driving back
and forth to the main headquarters in Valparaiso. The
office, which will have computers, telephones and a fax
machine, can be used to conduct interviews or to meet
parents whose juvenile children have been arrested.
Returning to South Haven was "something we intended on
doing all along," Lain said.
After police left their old substation, they received
offers to relocate inside the South Haven fire station,
at a Portage business and even inside a South Haven
resident's home. Lain said the South Haven Square site
was a good location and wouldn't displace any