Pulaski County teaming up with ISP to boost patrols

NOW: Pulaski County teaming up with ISP to boost patrols

PULASKI COUNTY, Ind. -  For the second time this year, the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department is teaming up with Indiana State Police for the new All Crimes Policing program. Only ABC 57 News takes you on a ride-along with a deputy to find out why it helps.

Governor Holcomb kicked off the program in June as a response to the opioid crisis.

In the few months it’s been around, it’s boosting rural counties’ boots on the ground and consequential arrests.

Typically, the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department has two deputies patrolling 420 square miles of the County, but Friday there were seven ISP troopers, six Pulaski County deputies, one Medaryville marshal and one Francesville marshal out on the streets.

“Sometimes it could take 15, 20 minutes because of the way our county is arranged. It’s a square, so if you’re working at one end of town, it’s probably close to 30 miles from one to the other,” said Pulaski County deputy Aaron Heims.

In addition to distance, there are safety concerns with flying solo.

“Other guys in other agencies, they’ll be amazed that we go to domestic calls, you know sometimes we go by ourselves, and you just handle it and do what you have to do because of manpower,” said Deputy Heims.

“Definitely a different environment than the urban areas of Michigan City and Gary. The challenge is in the rural smaller areas, especially in the known drug dealers and things like that. Once you make a police presence in a certain area, they tend to withdraw,” said Sgt. Aaron Correll, of the Indiana State Police.

“One of the priorities of the governor at the time he took office was to address the drug problem in Indiana…so part of the Indiana State police initiative was to create an All Crimes Policing team for each district,” he said.

Deputy Aaron Heims says being able to police proactively for once is the biggest plus.

“It’s just the downfall to having short staff where you’re not actually doing what we’re doing now, and proactively patrolling, you’re kind of reactively reacting to situations, car accidents, and…it could be deterred if …we could have made more traffic stops,” said Deputy Heims.

“That’s the common goal: to make the community as safe as we can possibly make it,” said Sgt. Correll.

The first patrol resulted in 19 arrests, including a big meth bust and at least 75 traffic stops, which is five times as many as the two deputies usually do on their own.

Preliminary numbers for Friday’s round as of 9:30 p.m. show 90 traffic stops and 11 arrests.

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