Law and Criminal Justice

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Judges in Montgomery County are trying to establish a public defender office, but the lawyers currently serving in that capacity say it may be too costly.

The judges presented the proposal amid an overload of cases that require court-assigned attorneys. The county currently contracts private lawyers to fill those positions.

Justin Froedge is one of the county’s acting public defenders. He says a cheaper alternative may be to keep the existing system in place and give contracted lawyers a pay bump.

Brandon Smith / Indiana Public Broadcasting

Though the announcement came a few days earlier than he’d planned, West Lafayette Police Chief Jason Dombkowski says he’s running for Tippecanoe County Sheriff in next year’s election.

A countdown on his campaign website shows there are still more than 270 days until 2018’s primary election, in which the police chief of ten years could face off against current GOP sheriff Barry Richard, who won the office in 2014.

Calls to Sheriff Richard’s office seeking comment Monday went unreturned.

Arrest Made In Plainfield Cyber-Threat Case

Aug 7, 2017

U.S. Attorney Josh Minkler says the suspect used what is known as “sextortion” – getting sexually explicit images from a victim through threats of violence. (Photo by Drew Daudelin)

Police and federal officials Monday announced an arrest has been made in a two-year-old case out of Plainfield.

26-year-old Buster Hernandez, from Bakersfield, California, has been charged with threats to use an explosive device, threats to injure, and sexual exploitation of a child.

A new federal-city partnership aims to reduce violence in Indianapolis by connecting police and federal prosecutors.

The National Public Safety Partnership allows cities to consult the U.S. Department of Justice for training and to connect with resources. Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett says this will strengthen the city’s current efforts.

“What we’re doing is reminding ourselves of what we’ve been doing for years and that is to continue to stem the rising tide of violence so many urban areas across the country are experiencing,” Hogsett says.

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The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department is facing a lawsuit in federal court after an allegation that the department illegally issued a no-contact order.

Douglas Sarver claims after his arrest for driving under the influence, the department presented a no-contact order -- meaning he could not speak with his minor son.

Purdue University

Purdue University and its police department are investigating the allegations of misconduct that shut down its summer camp/research study called “Camp DASH.”

University officials believe most of the allegations – among those, sexual offenses and battery – can be linked to one female participant.

Vice Provost for Student Life Beth McCuskey says this is the first such report at any of Purdue’s multiple camps.

She says it’s unclear how this may affect those camps’ reputation.

Charlotte Tuggle / WBAA

The Indiana Law Enforcement Academy will begin to bill police departments $500 per student this fall.

Participation in the Academy’s 15-week basic training course is required for prospective cops, and used to be free before a change in Indiana code took effect July 1.

Academy Executive Director Rusty Goodpaster says that’s just a slice of the actual cost.

“The last time we did a study – I believe it was 2013 that we went through it – and it’s roughly about $8,500 that it costs to train a student,” he says.

Indiana State Police

Law enforcement agencies have released new information about the double homicide investigation following the murders of two Delphi girls.

The Carroll County Sheriff's Department, FBI, Delphi Police Department and the Indiana State Police believe the man depicted in the composite sketch is connected to the murders.

The suspect is described as a white male between 5'6" to 5'10", weighing 180 to 220 pounds and with reddish brown hair.

Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett (center), announces reforms for IMPD with Chief Bryan Roach (left) and Deputy Mayor of Neighborhood Engagement David Hampton (right). (Photo by Drew Daudelin)

Two weeks ago Indianapolis police officers shot and killed an unarmed man, after a traffic stop and a brief car chase. Investigations into the incident are still ongoing, but Mayor Joe Hogsett Friday announced a series of reforms related to police use of force.

J J / flickr.com/photos/tattoodjay/4172577749

Update, 1:10 p.m.: All public safety phone lines are fully functional at this time.

Phone lines at Tippecanoe County’s public safety departments spent most of this morning running on a backup system to receive non-emergency calls.

West Lafayette Mayor John Dennis says a power outage at the county jail knocked out a phone server, and took down the non-emergency lines.

Tippecanoe County Sheriff Barry Richard says though the primary line went out, a secondary system took over for the administrative phones.

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