Porter County Sheriff's Department


What's Happening at The Porter County Sheriff's Department

 

DUI Top Enforcers

Porter County Sheriff's Top DUI enforcers

Officer Brockman Officer Praschak and Officer Bowles (left to right)

 

Top DUI enforcers honored

Portage Officer Michael Candiano led all officers in county with 113 arrests in 2007

 

BY KEN KOSKY Date posted online: Friday, December 14, 2007

 

VALPARAISO | Portage Master Patrolman Michael Candiano set a record for number of drunken driving arrests by putting 113 suspects behind bars this year.  Candiano and the other top DUI enforcers of 2007 were honored by the Porter County Drunk Driving Task Force and Mothers Against Drunk Driving at a banquet Thursday in Valparaiso.  Candiano said his key to success was getting to work straight midnights n the time when most drunken drivers are on the road, and having a crew of officers who handle the other calls while he's making arrests.  Candiano said he's motivated to catch drunken drivers because a Portage police dispatcher was killed by one when he was a rookie officer. His arrest total breaks the previous mark of 100 set by another Portage officer three years ago.  "A lot of us aren't going to be at a bank robbery ... ," Candiano said.  "This (drunken driving enforcement) is one of ways we can actually find a crime in progress and stop it before anything worse happens."  Police officers throughout Porter County made 1,260 drunken driving arrests in 2007, a 27 percent increase over the previous year.  "I was impressed by the numbers and deeply saddened by the numbers n that we have that many drunken drivers on the roads," said Kitty Greene, state executive director of Mothers Against Drunk Driving.  Drunk Driving Task Force Chairman Michael Grennes said the numbers show the county has a serious problem with drunken driving, but that law enforcement is tackling it. He said the Task Force helped put more officers on the road in 2007 and will likely increase funding for extra patrols in 2008. Burns Harbor police Chief Jerry Price, whose family has been impacted by drunken driving, told the officers their hard work is appreciated. "My cousin (who was killed) and my daughter (who was injured) would thank you for getting them off the road," Price said.  Burns Harbor police Officer Charlie Mathewson, who led his department with 25 arrests, believes he's keeping the drunken driver and the public safe every time he makes an arrest. Valparaiso police Officer Jerame Simpson, who led his department with 36 arrests, said he looks for drivers going left of center, stopping at lights for too long or going too fast or slow.  "I know what the ramifications of drinking and driving are. It's a good experience to get a drunken driver off the road before a crash occurs," Simpson said.  "There are people alive today because of what these officers have done," Indiana State Police Lt. Larry Keiser said.

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