Porter County Sheriff's Department

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


2009 Police Memorial

Presentation of the Colors Porter County Sheriff's Honor Guard

John Simatovich Elementary Choir National Anthem and God Bless America




Inspecting, reflecting for cops

May 16, 2009 By Charles M. Bartholomew, Post-Tribune correspondent

VALPARAISO -- Rain couldn't dampen the enthusiasm of citizens who showed up for the annual police memorial and inspection day at the Porter County Sheriff's Department on Friday morning.  "This is our way of saying thanks for you guys sacrificing for us day in and day out. It's the least we can do," said Christine Whit of Valparaiso, an emergency medical technician and Porter County Animal Shelter volunteer who was one of the first to arrive.  The rain moved in after the 10 a.m. inspection, which had 70 patrol cars, detectives' and unmarked vehicles, and a four-wheel pickup occasionally used on patrol duty, lined up in the parking lot and accompanied by uniformed officers.  "Our shift supervisors do monthly inspections of the officers and their vehicles, but this is the time when we pull out all the stops," Sheriff David Lain said.  Valparaiso and Portage police and Indiana state troopers participated.  Inspectors with clipboards made the rounds, checking engines under the hoods of the Crown Victorias and examining rifles, fire extinguishers, portable scales and other gear stowed neatly in the trunks.  "This isn't supposed to be fun," Lain said to a patrolman bantering with his superior, who checked out his boots, handcuffs and polished brass.  Flags at half-staff and seating set up in front of the the Sheriff's Department building on Indiana 49 became soaked by rain. Organizers hastily moved the ceremony to the nearby 4-H Exhibit Hall of the Porter County Expo Center after the public began to arrive.  "We have three of our men to remember, as well as thousands across the country. They made the ultimate sacrifice, because it was the right thing to do," Lain said, recalling the names of three Porter County deputies whose pictures were on the front of the program.   * Edward J. Blakely, who was shot to death responding to a call at Lake Eliza in 1961.  * Timothy L. Hecht, who died during a SWAT team training exercise in 1999.  * Robert R. Hardesty, who had left the department to join the FBI before he died in a SWAT team training accident in 2005.  Keynote speaker William Hanna, executive director of the Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority and a former guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, told the deputies they have "a special charge in life."  "You balance a tremendous amount of power with extending compassion when it is needed," Hanna said. "Not everyone can do that."Michael McArdle/Post-Tribune   Porter County Police Capt. Tom Henderson (left) inspects the gun of Officer Matthew Boone during inspections Friday at the police department .Michael McArdle/Post-Tribune   Porter County police officers stand at attention Friday during a memorial for fallen officers at the Porter County Expo Center.




Edward J. Blakely

November 3, 1961


Timothy L. Hecht

February 11, 1999


Robert R. Hardesty

June 2, 2005


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