Sgt. Chris Yagelski

Sgt. Chris Yagelski

Q: I recently locked my keys inside my car with the engine running. I called the police for help and I received a response that I would have to call a locksmith or a local towing agency for help as the police no longer open up cars as a courtesy.

I did this numerous years ago and the police came right out and used one of those "slim-jim" type of tools to open my door. Why don't you offer this free service anymore?

A: Good question. The reason we no longer offer lockout assistance for non-emergency situations is primarily due to liability purposes.

Contemporary vehicles now have a more complex locking mechanism along with anti-theft measures built into them which prevents "slim jimming" of a door lock rod. With the potential for vehicle damage, and subsequent requests by people wanting the city to reimburse them for the goodwill of trying to unlock their door we stopped this practice.

All towing agencies and locksmiths do this inexpensively and are completely insured for damages. In case of an emergency situation – as with a child accidentally locked inside, medical emergencies or animal is locked inside a hot vehicle – officers will take every measure we can to open the vehicle. Even if we use the help of a towing agency or locksmith.

Q: What is the liability of a bartender, or person, who serves too much alcohol to someone who then drives and gets into an accident?

A: Actually Indiana does acknowledge responsibility for both commercial and social hosts, which means businesses or individuals can be held liable in cases of accidents or injuries involving over serving alcohol.

Hosts and servers need to be very aware of having a legal and moral responsibility to not over serve and to take steps, if necessary, to ensure the person is able to make their way home safely.

This can be done through a designated driver, sober friends or, as always, a $20 cab ride. It is far easier to take a cab than to potentially spend thousands of dollars for an OWI conviction.

Q: What is the difference between a patrol officer and a detective?

A: A uniformed police officer responds to and handles the initial investigation of calls for police service. The uniformed officer determines the case, and if necessary completes the original case report.

Generally a detective is a "plain clothes" police officer responsible and trained for follow-up investigations. Once the report is assigned, the detective continues the investigation started by the patrol officer and follows it through into the court system.

Patrol officers and detectives can be of equal rank, however detectives receive extra compensation for their specialty.

This week's riddle

The winner of the gift certificates sponsored by Carlson's Drive-In of Michigan City was Millie Bearickx of Michigan City.

Let's answer the riddle of how many hot dogs did you end up with? The answer of course was no matter how you cut it, slice it or dice it, you still only end up with one hot dog.

The sponsor for this week's riddle is Petti's Grocery in Michigan City. The winner receives a $30 gas card.

The Michigan City Police Department has the annual Easter Egg hunt Saturday. Prior to the hunt we decided to have an employee jelly bean contest.

Five people from our staff entered the contest to see how many jelly beans we had placed in a glass jar. Rhonda guessed 45, Mandy guessed 39, Matt guessed 49, and Steve guessed 50 as Royce went for 47. One of them was off by 6, one by five, one by 2, and one by four, and one was exactly right.

How many jelly beans were in the jar?

The ninth correct answer by phone or email at exactly 1 p.m. Friday wins.

To answer a question, or ask one, contact Sgt. Chris Yagelski at 219-873-1461, ext. 333, or email

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