Sheriff candidate Arnold addresses rural patrols

 

WNLP editor’s note: This press release was submitted by James D. Arnold, a Democratic candidate in the 2022 race for La Porte County sheriff. All candidates are invited to submit their candidacy information and press releases to WNLP by emailing wnlp@whatsnewlaporte.com.   

James D. Arnold

A subject that often comes up in conversation with county residents is the lack of patrolling in the rural areas of the county. I am concerned with this matter as well. Over the last few years it seems that the main focus of our patrol division has been to patrol U.S. 20 and to increase our stats with traffic stops. I agree that there is a severe problem with the driving behavior on this particular highway, but that is not unique to U.S. 20 and it is not the only roadway we have in La Porte County.

The La Porte County Sheriff’s Office is a rural policing agency and should be available to patrol those areas.  When a patrol shift spends a majority of its time on one highway, it decreases the time spent on the hundreds of miles of roads in our county. Ultimately, this causes extended response times when a call for service/emergency arises, along with the potential to allow criminal activity to thrive undeterred. It is completely unfair that our citizens, and taxpayers, suffer from infrequent police coverage and regular patrols.

As sheriff, I would reach out to the superintendent of the Indiana State Police and formulate a strategy to have more state troopers allocated to our area to cover the state roads and U.S. routes. I understand that we are in a time where most agencies are stretched thin with regards to available personnel, but we need to get away from “doing more with less” and focus on doing better with what we have, for the time being.

In regard to statistical data gathered from the number of traffic stops performed by our department, I feel this cannot remain our sole vision. I believe that traffic stops should be initiated to address dangerous and criminal behavior, not for faulty license plate lights and other minor equipment infractions. We often do not have the staffing available to be constantly running traffic for the sake of numbers. That being said, I am aware that we benefit from federal funding with respect to extra patrols for programs such as seatbelt enforcements and operating-while-intoxicated enforcements. My concern relates to regular duty patrols due to the fact that extra patrols do not normally respond to calls for service as they are deployed for a specific purpose and can focus on that purpose.

As your sheriff, I would meet with the La Porte County Commission and La Porte County Council with the goal of adding personnel to our department so we can properly staff a patrol shift. In my opinion, shifts are inadequately staffed and that is dangerous for the deputies as well as the public.

The La Porte County Sheriff’s Office is responsible for providing police services to the citizens of the second largest county, by area, in the state of Indiana. Running operations as we have since the 1990s has to end because we need common sense along with the realization that we must conform to an ever-changing landscape.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. If you have any questions, comments or concerns, email me at jdarnoldforsheriff@gmail.com or contact me via my Facebook page, James D. Arnold for sheriff.

6 Responses to “Sheriff candidate Arnold addresses rural patrols”

  1. Concerned

    Aug 23. 2021

    I agree that US 20 isn’t the only highway in Laporte county but it is also called Bloody 20 for a reason. There have been so many fatalities on that road and I hate driving on that road for any reason. I have passed the county cops on the road and felt better that they were there.

    That road needs frequent patrols as people use it as a substitute 94!

    Reply to this comment
    • Choice

      Aug 23. 2021

      I agree with concerned! Since they took the light out at SR 2 and US 20, the speeding has increased substantially. Might be good to add a traffic light at Rolling Prairie. They do have a school, fire department, not too mention the Dollar General store on US 20.

      Reply to this comment
      • Please read the release

        Aug 23. 2021

        Everyone in this county deserves the same service. As mentioned in the release, he will talk to the State Police because they are the department that should be covering roads like 20, 94 and 30. There are thousands of people in this county that this department serves. Not to take away from the frustration that is 20 and it’s not like he stated the department would never be there to help or cover or even patrol. Instead of expecting this department to do what the State Police should be, we should expect cooperation and the coverage that is supposed to come from other departments.

        Reply to this comment
  2. Agreed

    Aug 23. 2021

    I used to work for the Sheriff’s Department. For many years the vaunted Indiana State Police would be seen locally. That stopped when waterborne gambling came to the fore, and many troopers either volunteered or were assigned to the gambling boats. They never recovered. Now, they send routine crashes and other calls on I-94 and the Toll Rd to the Sheriff’s department to handle. That folks, is ridiculous. ISP is a shell of what it was. US 20 always has been a problem, it has not been cured in decades. It will not be cured tomorrow. There are plenty of things going on in other locales than strictly on US 20. We have US 30, SR 2, US 6, and US 421 in addition to many miles of county roads to be concerned with. By the way, ISP is not seen on any of the highways I just mentioned. However, we have a Sheriff that seems fixated on US 20, and not the rest. Odd.

    Reply to this comment
  3. James

    Aug 26. 2021

    I have always suspected that the gradients of the highway on 20 might be a problem,,,making it possible to misjudge how far away on coming traffic is,,
    I have also had a skidding incident in the winter,,not sure how it happened,,or what can be done about it,,but one second I was driving and the next I was spinning around in the middle of the highway,,I if that is something peculiar to this highway.
    I notice that the officer said they wrote tickets to get number,,and traffic stop stats,,,this is entirely wrong,,it offends me,,tickets should not be written for income,,but they often are,,Isnt LaPorte county better than that?

    Reply to this comment
  4. Doug

    Aug 26. 2021

    20 from Rolling to MC needs more turn lanes. The speed of the traffic coming up on people needing to turn left is scary. Median strip would help, too.

    Reply to this comment

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