Sgt. Chris Yagelski

Sgt. Chris Yagelski

Q: Here is a good police question. I just don't understand why some people that speed just get a warning ticket, and others get a paying one. If someone is speeding, shouldn't it just be a ticket, end of story?

A: The short answer is that police officers are given the authority to use their discretion. There are driver's that actually make mistakes and errors in judgment when it comes to safe driving.

We must all admit, including myself, that we may miss a speed limit sign, not fully stop at a stop sign, or sometimes just drive a little too fast.

There are also a host of other reasons why we would not issue a ticket and of course reasons we must. The point of traffic enforcement is to modify behavior, not just generate monetary penalties.

Q: It sure has to be scary, but it seems like it would be pretty easy to take the gun right out of your holster. Do police officers take some special training to protect their gun?

A: Yes. A lot of training goes into defeating disarming attempts.

If someone tried to take my gun, they should expect an immediate and extremely intense reaction. Anyone that attempts to take an officer's firearm is an imminent threat to the officer's life and the citizens around them, and officers will respond appropriately.

Our department, as others, issue special duty holsters that have a series of snaps, levers, locks and/or other devices that help prevent an unauthorized person from removing the firearm from the holster.

Q: I injured myself playing volleyball and my doctor gave me a note stating I was excused from work. My employer just laughed and said I wasn't excused. Can my employer make me work anyway, doesn't he have to pay me since I have a valid excuse?

A: Yes and no. Your employer cannot "make you work" in a sense of legally forcing you, however, your employer also does not have to pay you if you are not working.

If you do not either use paid leave (sick or vacation days) to cover your absence or alternately use some protected benefit (such as leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act, if you and your company both qualify) for the non-working time, you can be suspended, demoted and/or fired for not working.

Remember there is no legal right to not work and have a job, or not work and be paid.

Q: Can you go to jail if you accidentally use a credit card without permission?

A: Well of course. I'm not sure how you would "accidentally" use a credit card, but if you knowingly use a credit card that has been stolen, forged, canceled, revoked or otherwise unauthorized, you are subject to arrest for credit card fraud or theft.

This week's riddle

The winner of the $30 gas card sponsored by the Antique Mart in Michigan City was Arlene Dabkowski of Michigan City.

Let's answer last column's riddle of what was the correct word we were looking for in the geography puzzle? The answer of course was "Correct."

The sponsor for this week's riddle is Melinda Nagel of Edward Jones Investing, 411 Franklin St. The winner receives a $30 gas card.

Let's play a thinking game. You and your first husband are off to your summer family reunion and when you arrive you are introduced to your mother's only sister's husband's sister-in-law. He has no brothers. What do you call this lady?

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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