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ISP to Dedicate More Staff to Process Apps for Gun Licenses

Indiana State Police logo
Indianapolis, IN - The Indiana State Police Department is responsible for issuing licenses to carry a handgun to citizens of Indiana that request a license. The Department is required to issue or deny the request - stating the denial cause - within 60 days from the time an application is submitted. Efforts to meet the time frame requirement have not been met due to a significant rise in the number of requests for handgun licenses. This is attributable to the number of shootings across the country, coupled with national news stories debating more restrictive gun laws.
Historically, applications received for a license to carry a handgun averaged around 5,200 per month, but increased dramatically toward the end of 2012. January of 2013 resulted in more than 23,000 application requests being submitted to the state police. The level of demand has marginally decreased in the months that followed, falling to just over 6,500 new license requests in June. However, the overall monthly increase has led to a substantial backlog in applications, pushing processing time to more than 110 days.
To eliminate the backlog, Indiana State Police Superintendent Doug Carter ordered a thorough evaluation of the procedures involved to issue a license to carry a handgun. Based on this comprehensive review, processes are being streamlined and additional personnel have been added to process some 45,000 pending applications. The review process also included plans to address future spikes in application requests. Barring unforeseen circumstances the backlog should be eliminated within eight to ten weeks of July 1st. New license applications received after mid September 2013 are expected to be processed within the required 60 day timeframe.
It is important to note that during the seven months from December of 2012 through June of 2013, the state police received 91,940 applications for a license to carry a handgun. To offer a point of contrast, for all of 2012 there were 62,934 applications received and processed, which resulted in the issuance of 60,906 new handgun licenses.
To decrease processing time of applications the state police encourage all applicants to submit their application and fingerprints electronically. While all applications are required to be electronically submitted there is an option to submit fingerprints that are either hand rolled or scanned onto paper print cards, or prints that are electronically recorded and immediately emailed to the Indiana State Police for verification and processing. Applications submitted with hand rolled or scanned finger prints take about two weeks longer to process than the electronically transferred fingerprints.
Superintendent Carter and the Indiana State Police are dedicated to meeting the required time frame to issue or deny a license to carry a handgun. We deeply regret the inconvenience far too many Hoosiers have experienced with this process. Members of the state police are working diligently to resolve this backlog and provide Hoosiers with the level of service they have come to expect from the Indiana State Police.
General Information of Interest for the Public & Media
Factors that add to increased processing time:
• Applications that are incomplete
• Submission of hand rolled or scanned fingerprints instead of electronic fingerprints
• Incomplete Criminal History information that has to be confirmed
• Common names with Criminal History information that must to be verified
Applications for License to Carry a Handgun received, by month, from December 2012 to June of 2013:
• Dec 2012: 13,954
• Jan 2013: 23,079
• Feb 2013: 15,945
• Mar 2013: 12,204
• Apr 2013: 11,397
• May 2013: 8,848
• Jun 2013: *6,513
• Seven Month Total: 91,940
* June number not final, subject to change
Issued Licenses to Carry a Handgun from 2009 to 2012
• 2009: 98,639
• 2010: 79,027
• 2011: 61,595
• 2012: 60,906
At the beginning of July 2013 there were 493,205 active licenses to carry a handgun, of which 392,520 were issued to men and 100,685 were issued to women. To see previous reports that reflect quarterly comparisons of active handgun licenses by county and gender of the license holder, please visit this site: http://www.in.gov/isp/2963.htm
The state police remind media and the public that specific information about who possesses a license to carry a handgun is not a public record. The state police will not confirm or deny if a specific citizen possesses a license to carry a handgun.
For more information on the license to carry a handgun application process, inclusive of how to file electronic fingerprints, please visit this site: http://www.in.gov/isp/2828.htm
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LaPorte PD Issues Reminder on Use of Fireworks

LaPorte PD
With the Fourth of July holiday upon us, the La Porte Police Department issues the following friendly reminders regarding the use of fireworks within the city limits.
In the State of Indiana, if you are 18 years of age or older, you may legally purchase, possess and discharge Consumer and Section 8 (a) fireworks which include bottle rockets, roman candles, fire crackers, sparklers, ground spinners, cone fountains, wheels and cylindrical fountains.
Those less than 18 years of age may only possess and discharge legal fireworks when accompanied by an adult.
Fireworks may only be discharged on:
- The user’s property
- The property of someone who granted permission to discharge fireworks on their property
- At a special discharge location
The discharge of fireworks within the La Porte City limits is restricted to the following dates and times:
- Memorial Day: between 5:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m.
- June 28th thru July 3rd: between 5:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m.
- July 4th: between 10:00 a.m. and 12:00 midnight
- Veteran’s Day: between 5:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m.
- From 10:00 a.m. on New Year’s Eve to 1:00 a.m. on New Year’s Day.
The penalty for violation of the ordinance is a fine of $300.00
For more information about fireworks laws, visit:
Indiana Law Code
www.in.gov./legislative/ic/code/title22/ar11/ch14.html
Indiana Department of Homeland Security
www.in.gov/dhs
La Porte Municipal Code – Article 1. Sec. 70-4 Consumer Fireworks
www.municode.com
Brochure information is also available in the lobby of the La Porte Police Department.
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Valpo PD Enforcing Fireworks Ordinance During the Holiday

Valpo PD
The City of Valparaiso has a fireworks ordinance that will be enforced during the upcoming July 4th weekend.
Article 2: Discharging of Fireworks is Prohibited with the following Exceptions:
a. Public displays where a permit is granted.
b. Consumer fireworks can be used on the following dates and times:
                        
1. Between 5pm and 2 hours after sunset from June 29 to July 3rd.
2. From 10 am to midnight on July 4th.
3. Between 5 pm and 2 hours after sunset from July 5th to 9th.
4. On December 31st from 10 am to 1am on January 1st.
Article 4: It shall be unlawful for anyone under the age of 18 to fire, shoot off, or discharge any consumer fireworks within the city limits without the direct supervision of the minor's parent or legal guardian.
Article 7: Penalties:
a. Any person convicted of violating any provision under this Ordinance shall be subject to a fine in the amount up to $25 for the first occurrence, $50 for the second occurrence and $100 for the third occurrence.
Valparaiso Police will be enforcing this Ordinance during the upcoming July 4th weekend.
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BBB Warning of Virus Attack and Address Change Scams

BBB
The Better Business Bureau of Northern Indiana is warning of two separate scams circulating. The first scam comes in the form of a phone call from a person who won't give their name and tells people a virus is attacking Microsoft software, which will destroy your computer from the inside out, and that that granting him access to your computer is the only way to remove the virus.
The second scam concerns the website, changemyaddress-dot-com, which is charging 25-dollars to change your address via the internet. The Better Business Bureau says instead, go to the US Postal Service's website, https://www.usps.com, where the fee is only one-dollar.
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Increased Patrols in Construction Zones for the Holiday

Indot Logo color
INDIANAPOLIS – Motorists travelling during the Independence Day holiday and weekend should practice safe driving habits—especially through highway construction zones. Indiana State Police (ISP) will be utilizing special unmarked pickup trucks provided by the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) in a visible construction zone enforcement blitz intended to maximize safety and mobility.
INDOT has directed contractors to pull back barrels and barricades to the safest extent possible during the heavily-travelled holiday, but Indiana State Police will continue to enforce construction zone safety utilizing all available tools, including pickups in construction zones (PICZ).
The pickup trucks resemble typical vehicles normally seen being used by contractors and INDOT inspectors.  Motorists are urged to comply with reduced speed limits, keep a safe distance from other vehicles and avoid driving aggressively. Motorists that fail to do so may meet one of the troopers driving the special pickup truck police vehicles.
Indiana now has nine trucks patrolling various construction zones throughout the state. INDOT and ISP launched the PICZ program in 2011 with converted pickups for traffic enforcement in and near construction zones. INDOT provides the trucks to Indiana State Police as part of their efforts toward reducing crashes and injuries and enhancing safety and mobility.
The trucks are equipped with LIDAR, which is similar to radar but uses laser light to measure the distance between vehicles, allowing police to accurately and consistently determine if vehicles are following too closely. Statistical analysis shows the top cause of work zone crashes to be following too closely.
During the holiday enforcement blitz, Indiana State Police will be specifically looking for drivers who follow too closely, exceed posted speed limits, make unsafe lane changes, drive aggressively and fail to buckle up or to properly restrain children.  Troopers will also be aggressively looking for impaired drivers.
To help ensure motorists reach their holiday travel destinations safely, please remember these safe driving tips:
  • Make sure you are well rested before traveling. 
  • Avoid tailgating. Remember the two-second rule.
  • Obey posted speed limits, and always use turn signals when turning and making lane changes.
  • Make sure everyone is properly buckled up.
  • Never drink and drive. If you are going to consume alcohol, make sure you have a designated driver.
The statewide TrafficWise traveler information webpage includes updated reports for all state roads, U.S. highways and interstates across Indiana. Motorists can learn about traffic conditions, road closures, construction information, and crashes by going to www.TrafficWise.in.gov or calling 1-800-261-ROAD (7623).
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Temporary Evacuation of Animals after Humane Society Fire

fire at humane society
(Photo Courtesy of the Times)
A fire in the laundry room of the Humane Society in Munster was contained Tuesday night, but as a result of smoke throughout part of the building, a temporary evacuation of the animals occurred. The Times reports firefighters were called out earlier that evening for the smell of smoke, but a source of the smell could not be located, and then just before 11pm, crews were once again dispatched to the four-hundred block of 45th Avenue, this time for a fire. An investigation continues.
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Tips from Citizens Lead to Arrest of Two Hammond Men

James Edwards
(Photos Courtesy of the Lake Co Sheriff's Office)
Leon King
(Top Photo: James Edwards, Bottom: Leon King)
Citizens reporting suspicious activity led to an investigation and subsequent arrest of two Hammond men. The Lake County Sheriff's Department says the Lake County Drug Task Force executed a search warrant Tuesday morning in the 61-hundred block of Ray Avenue and found the men.  66-year old Leon King has charges pending for allegedly dealing Heroin, and 59-year old James Edwards was arrested for an active warrant for Failure to Appear for Resisting Arrest. The Sheriff's Department urges citizens to always report suspicious and seemingly unlawful activities to their Crime Hotline, 1-800-750-2746.
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Porter Co Assessor Takes Porter Regional Hospital to Court

Legal action is being taken by Porter County Assessor Jon Snyder against Porter Regional Hospital for lack of cooperation. Snyder on Tuesday filed a Petition for a Writ of Production of Books and Records, in what he called a last ditch effort to obtain the necessary and relevant information to accurately assess the hospital campus, which is located on Route 6, in Liberty Township. Snyder says he asked for additional information in 2012, but only received a small amount of what was asked for.
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Vermont Man Confesses to Homicide in Jasper County

Jasper Co Sheriff Dept
A 49 year old Vermont man is being held in custody after confessing to killing the owner of the vehicle he was driving. The Jasper County Sheriff's office reports a deputy observed Peter Lavalette in a parked vehicle in the parking lot of Family Express Monday night, at State Road 10 and U-S 231, after they had closed, and the subject told the deputy he was lost. After giving the man directions, the subject's vehicle left and the deputy then received a return on the license plate and learned it did not match the driver's name. The deputy then pulled over the vehicle, which was reportedly driving erratically on U-S 231, and while conducting a field sobriety test, the man allegedly told the deputy the car's owner was dead and that he had killed him. The Sheriff's Office reports Vermont State Police on Tuesday confirmed the location of the dead body, with initial evidence indicating a homicide scene. Lavalette is charged with felony operating while intoxicated charges and is awaiting further charges from Vermont authorities.
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Porter-Starke Services Awarded Grant to Fund Program

porter-starke
Congressman Pete Visclosky announced on Tuesday that the Center for Mental Health Services has awarded $399,918 to Porter-Starke Services to fund the collaborative Strong Mind, Strong Body Wellness Program.

The program will be based on a framework devised by Porter-Starke Services and HealthLinc, whereby patients with serious mental illnesses have access to medical care at their community mental health center (CMHC).  Through this program, HealthLinc will offer on-site medical services for patients at Porter-Starke Services, the Swanson Center, and Oaklawn Psychiatric Center, giving patients with serious mental illness the attention and added care they need.

Aileen Wehren, Vice President of Systems Administration at Porter-Starke Services, said of the grant, “For the past three years we have operated a clinic out of our facility in conjunction with HealthLinc.  We have had tremendous success improving overall health by providing on-site medical services and focusing on wellness, not illness.  In joining with our partner CMHCs we expand our knowledge base to other organizations that can improve patient wellness throughout the region.  The purpose of this program is to help the people that we serve feel better and live longer, and this grant will allow us to do just that.”

Congressman Visclosky said, “Each of the organizations involved in this program has a proven track-record of improving the quality of life for their patients, and is dedicated to making a difference in the lives of those they serve.  I thank them for working together to secure this vital funding, and for their good work on behalf of their clients.”

The award, a Mental Health & Substance Abuse Service grant, is distributed by the Center for Mental Health Services.  The Center for Mental Health Services leads federal efforts to treat mental illnesses by promoting mental health and by preventing the development or worsening of mental illness when possible.
(article provided)

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