LAPEL, IN - Interim Police Chief Mike Barnes reported to the Town Council members that the Lapel Police Department responded to a little over 2600 calls in 2015.
This was an increase of 245 calls over 2014, and an increase of 652 calls over 2013.
Barnes attributed this rise to the completion of the Green Annexation.
He also requested that the Town Council look into hiring either a new part time or full time officer within the next few months. He highlighted the fact they have had to pay overtime to a number of full time officers to cover extra shifts.
It is likely this is due in part to the fact that with Barnes now the interim Police Chief the department effectively lost a full time officer with the retirement of Chief Molina.
Barnes also commented that the Town of Lapel experienced a fatal vehicle crash within the town limits earlier in the week.
This incident has been covered extensively by local news media and happened along SR13 south of SR38. In the past these kind of accidents have largely been outside of town limits but with the annexation it is likely these types of incidents could occur more frequently.
Barnes also informed the Council that in this particular incident the LPD called in the Madison County Sheriff Department's Fatality Team to handle the investigation. The Sheriff's department was able to send a large team of seven people to investigate using specialized training and equipment. He felt that while the Lapel Police Department could have handled the investigation it was best in this particular case to use the Sheriff Department which has an on-call team for these types of incidents.