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Portage police chief trying to ease residents' concerns about amount of crime news

Porter County D.W.I. Task Force

With Portage crime news frequently in the headlines, the city's police chief says that just shows his officers are doing their job.

Chief Michael Candiano told the city council last week that he's heard concerns about the number of Portage stories in the news. And while he can't control what newspapers print, he said his department has taken the stance of being transparent and proactively sharing arrest information.

"I think we learned in 2020 and with those events and thereafter that it's definitely more beneficial to be transparent than to try to hide things in statistics," Candiano said.

He pointed to a police chase in late March that led to the arrest of two people who police believe were involved in multiple carjackings and burglaries in the Chicago area. "If you focus on the crimes, you can become, you know, disheartened, but I think what we should really focus on is the fact that we're catching the perpetrators," Candiano added. "They're being stopped from committing additional crimes."

He noted that Portage is one of the Region's largest cities, and he said crime is a byproduct of a growing community. "We've got three major highways that run through here," Candiano explained. "There's people visiting all the time. People come in because of the highways, believing that they can get out quickly, different things. So those are the types of things that we are going to encounter."

Candiano said most categories of violent crimes are down, but the total number of incidents year-to-date is up from 2023.

Michael Gallenberger is a news reporter and producer that hosts All Things Considered on 89.1 FM | Lakeshore Public Media.