June 2009

A big change that is effective July 1, 2010 will require a driver to be at least 16 years and 6 months old to obtain a driver’s license.  Currently a person must be 16 years and 1 month.  There are a few other minor requirements that accompany this law.   Again, this law takes effect July 1, 2010. 

Another new statute will prohibit driving while using a telecommunications device (cell phone), except for making a 911 emergency call, for anyone under the age of 18 years and holding a probationary driver’s license.  This law also bans texting while driving for those under 18 years of age.  The ban on cell usage is considered a primary enforcement law meaning police can stop a person suspected of violating this law. 

There is a new law that specifically defines a “golf cart” as a four wheeled motor vehicle originally and specifically designed to transport individuals and golf clubs for the purpose of playing golf.  This law will allow a city or town to adopt an ordinance concerning the use of golf carts being operated by a licensed driver inside the city or town limit.  Otherwise, golf carts remain prohibited from being operated on highways.

I would like to congratulate Scot Sauers for receiving a $500.00 scholarship from the Indiana Sheriffs’ Association.  Scot is a resident of rural Whitley County and just finished his junior year at Indiana State University where he majors in Criminology /Criminal Justice.  He was awarded this same scholarship last year.  Scot has begun a summer internship with Interpol in Washington DC.  Interpol, whose full name is the International Criminal Police Organization was established in 1923 and currently serves 187 countries.  Interpol serves as a contact point for world-wide criminal investigations such as terrorism, organized crime, drug trafficking, white-collar crime.  This should be an excellent opportunity for Scot and we wish him well.  Scot is the son of Steve Sauers and Tam Mitchell of rural Whitley County.

In addition to other investigative duties, Detective Chuck Vogely is making good use of the high tech computer lab that we purchased last year.  Most recently, he finished a forensic investigation on a computer seized by the Columbia City Police Department. Vogely’s investigation resulted in 32 felony charges against a Whitley County resident.  He has analyzed numerous cell phones for officers of this department, for other local departments, and for Homeland Security.

On April 10th, Deputy Jason Spencer and his K9, “Koenie”, graduated from the Ft. Wayne Police Department K9 Academy.  Since then, they have been busy, recording seven drug sniffs and one public demonstration.  Together, Deputy Spencer and Deputy Cook and his K9 “Blitz” have made some small finds of marijuana.  We are still waiting to find the “mother lode”. 

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