Ask a Cop: Does the MCPD use psychics?

Sgt. Chris Yagelski

Q: I see all the time on CSI that they use psychics and DNA matches to assist in murder or kidnapping cases and this just seems way too easy. Does your department ever use psychics? I would think that this would really help?

A: Besides movies or TV shows, I don’t know of any local departments who have ever used a psychic. Of course, it doesn’t mean that we won’t. When it comes to solving crimes we never ignore any possibilities. Sometimes it seems so easy to solve crimes when you are watching this sort of thing for entertainment, but some of the methods are not realistic or feasible in real police investigations. DNA is a very valuable tool, but rest assured it never happens in an hour. There is no magical machine we can use to put DNA in a computer and a picture of a suspect pops up and a GPS coordinate leads us right to them!

Q:Text ColorSwatch/NoneStrokeStyle/$ID/SolidText ColorSwatch/NoneStrokeStyle/$ID/Solid$ID/NothingText ColorText Color$ID/NothingText ColorText Color Why wouldn’t speeding just be an “automatic ticket” without any argument or discretion. Why are police allowed to just make an arbitrary decision? Wouldn’t a no question automatic ticket be smarter as it would be nondiscriminatory, and it would stop disputes with the police.

A: The short answer is, “That’s the way the law is written.” Most people want police officers to be allowed to exercise discretion. For example, if I stop a parent rushing to the hospital after their child was taken to the emergency room, I am not handing them a speeding ticket. There are a whole lot of reasons why someone may or may not deserve a ticket. The point of traffic enforcement is to modify behavior not to generate income. Our department, just as with others, is about encouraging safe operation of vehicles and reducing traffic accidents. If we can get someone to drive in a safer manner with an encouraging word, why should we instead drop a $200 fine on them?

Q: Is it a requirement to put a police officer on paid leave after they are involved in a shooting?

A: As with most agencies, including ours, it is a standard policy. This not only allows agencies to investigate the incident, but also gives a chance to evaluate the officer’s fitness for duty. Any type of involvement in a deadly force encounter can be extremely draining, both emotionally and physically. Even when everything occurs “by the book,” it can be very hard on an officer.

Q: I know this might be dumb, but I am interested in Law Enforcement, but I have had a beard for the last four years, so I was wondering if police officers are allowed to have beards?

A:Text ColorSwatch/NoneStrokeStyle/$ID/SolidText ColorSwatch/NoneStrokeStyle/$ID/Solid$ID/NothingText ColorText Color$ID/NothingText ColorText Color Some are, and some aren’t! It depends on the department. Some agencies, like the Michigan City Police, do not allow a beard except for undercover officers.

Q:Text ColorSwatch/NoneStrokeStyle/$ID/SolidText ColorSwatch/NoneStrokeStyle/$ID/Solid$ID/NothingText ColorText Color$ID/NothingText ColorText Color I know I decided to move next to a bar, but what time can they actually serve alcohol? It seems like they never close!

A: In general, a bar may legally dispense alcohol Monday through Sunday 7 a.m. to 3 a.m. Thirty minutes after three, all containers that have or previously had alcoholic beverages in them must be cleared from the tables, counters, bars, etc. Bars may allow the consumption of alcoholic beverages during this thirty-minute period only if the alcoholic beverages to be consumed were purchased before 3 a.m.

The winner of last column’s riddle, sponsored by our friends at Root Funeral Home in Michigan City, was Jim Galinowski of Michigan City. Last column’s riddle of what was in the blind man’s package that he delivered? Well, of course the answer was BLINDS!

The sponsor of this week’s riddle is my friends at Woodruff and Sons located at 2125 E. US 12 in Michigan City. The winner receives a $30 gas card!

Shifty Sam was working for Woodruff and Sons, a large construction company who was very concerned about employee theft. The company security received a tip that Sam was stealing. Each night after work, Sam passed through security with a wheelbarrow full of scrap lumber, discarded electrical wires, and chunks of concrete. The security guards checked the contents daily but could find nothing of value. What was Shifty Sam stealing?

The 12th correct answer by phone or email at exactly 1 p.m. today wins.

To answer a question or ask one, contact Sgt. Chris Yagelski at 873-1461, Ext. #1020, or email

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