Merrillville Police Remain Active in April

The month of April has been busy for the Merrillville Police Department, but officers continue to use their tools and technology to keep the community safe.
Police Chief Kosta Nuses said Merrillville officers have responded to more than 1,700 calls for service so far in April. The department has conducted more than 400 traffic stops, and the force has more than 50 arrests.
An arrest of a person with a violent history recently occurred thanks to License Plate Readers (LPRs) used in Merrillville and the City of Gary.
At about 8:15 a.m. Saturday, April 20, Gary police informed Merrillville officers that an LPR in Gary came up with a hit on a vehicle that was traveling southbound on Broadway toward Merrillville.
“The vehicle was registered to a person who was wanted and had several felony warrants,” Nuses said.
A Merrillville officer began tracking the vehicle with Merrillville LPRs (License Plate Readers), and about two hours later, the vehicle was located at 73rd Avenue and Broadway.
“So, he stopped the vehicle and was able to safely apprehend the person who was driving the vehicle,” Nuses said.
It was confirmed the person had an active warrant for strong armed robbery, armed robbery, and criminal confinement.
“This guy has a pretty violent history with how he treats women, especially,” Nuses said.
He described the situation as a “win for all” because a violent offender was taken off the streets. Nuses said the situation also shows how valuable LPRs are in the community.
Nuses also is pleased with the growing relationships Merrillville has with area police departments, noting those relationships weren’t as strong in the past.
“This is a really good example of teamwork and the relationships that we have formed now with our neighboring communities,” Nuses said.
Town Council President Rick Bella added that “It is good to see our commitment to law enforcement technology is paying off. The License Plate Readers continue to be an effective tool for our PD.”
Nuses also explained Merrillville continues working on additional ways to enhance safety in the community.
The Merrillville Police Department joined a Lake County Sheriff’s Department task force, creating an opportunity to do more proactive crime fighting work.
Through the program, Merrillville provides one officer to the task force, but the town will have up to seven officers available through task force activities to investigate suspicious activities such as drug dealing.
“We are tight on manpower, but this gives us an actual opportunity to do a lot more proactive work,” Nuses said. “It’s going to help out.”
The Merrillville Town Council is also doing its part to give more tools to the Police Department. Council members on Tuesday, April 23, adopted several ordinances addressing public nuisances, parking in yards, off-street parking, and other issues.
The action strengthened existing ordinances by expanding definitions, cleaning up verbiage, and addressing fines.
Nuses is appreciative of the council’s efforts to update the measures so the Police Department and Code Enforcement personnel can effectively address ongoing issues in the community.
The council will continue to review potential ordinances aimed at enhancing safety in the town.
“We have to update these ordinances and keep up with the times,” Bella said.