Porter County Sheriff's Department

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Media Announcement for Report a Violator

Sheriff: Let cops send bad drivers letter

By Ken Kosky

Thursday, May 01, 2008


VALPARAISO | Porter County Sheriff David Lain said he can't go anywhere without someone telling him a story about a bad driver they saw on the county's roadways.
That's why Lain decided to give citizens a chance to report poor driving. People can now visit the sheriff's Web site and type in a vehicle description, license plate number and details about the driving offense.
The Sheriff's Department will then send the vehicle owner a letter letting the motorist know there has been a complaint and asking them to be more careful.
Lain hopes the new program will let the average resident feel they can take action to make their neighborhood or the highways safer. Lain also hopes the drivers who receive letters from the Sheriff's Department will become more attentive while behind the wheel.
"We can't write a ticket based on what (a person) saw, but at least we can let people know there are people watching and it does come to the ears of police officers," Lain said.
Lain said some of the vehicle owners who receive letters will realize their children are the ones who are accused of poor driving, and that can spark a conversation.
People can visit portercountysheriff.com to report a violator or stop by the Sheriff's Department at 2755 Ind. 49 in Valparaiso to fill out a form. Complainants must provide their contact information and agree not to provide false reports.
Lain cautions people not to put themselves in danger by confronting another motorist or by chasing a vehicle to get its license plate number.
Other police departments accept driving complaints and will ask officers to conduct extra patrols in high-complaint areas. Valparaiso police in 2006 kicked off Project Safe Way -- a police/resident partnership aimed at cutting down on problems like speeding in neighborhoods.
Lain said the program is one more way to address the problem, and he believes the small cost the Sheriff's Department will incur mailing letters is a good investment.


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