14 Rookie Officers Headed to Toll Road

Charlie Weis is not the only one in town who had a good "recruiting" year.

The Indiana State Police toll road post landed 14 rookies from last week's graduating class of the police academy.

More recruits were assigned to the toll road post than any other state police post in Indiana.

The development means that the toll road will be able to double, and occasionally triple, its police presence.

"We've been really working with low numbers lately," said Sgt. Nora Werner. "A majority of the time there's one person out per zone, which could be maybe four people on the entire toll road."

The recruits will bring about a manpower increase of 40% along the toll road.

The beefed up detail will apparently be able to do things that the current skeleton crews cannot.

"For the large trucks, commercial vehicles we might free up five or six of these officers and make a task force for the summer, just to concentrate on big truck violations," said Sgt. Jeff Whiteman.

Sgt. Werner adds, "Where you may have a suspicious vehicle, and you're the only one for 20 or 30 miles, you can't always proceed into an interdiction stop to look for drugs or narcotics or other illegal activities for safety reasons."

Werner says with the proper backup, such stops should be commonplace.

On Thursday, two of the recruits were at the police post in South Bend, chipping away at the 14 weeks of training they will need before they can hit the highway on their own.

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