Township chief says 2003 ‘banner year’ for department

Published 2:47 am Saturday, January 17, 2004

By By JAMES COLLINS / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- The Niles Township Police Department has recently completed a year in which they moved into a new facility, received a record number of calls and had two major cases solved.
Niles Township Police Chief John Street called 2003 "a banner year for the police department."
Street said one of the main highlights of 2003 was moving into the new Law Enforcement Complex located on Silverbrook Avenue in November.
He said a new computer system is being implemented to integrate the Niles Township Police and the Niles City Police. Both departments will soon begin to use the same paperwork for police and accidents reports.
With 4,031 calls for service, Street said it was the most calls the department has ever answered in one year.
In addition to an increase in phone calls, the department saw an increase in a number of other areas including tickets issued, arrests, verbal warnings and patrol miles.
The department had lost some officers to retirement and a few took jobs elsewhere.
The Niles Township Police currently has four full time officers and eight part time officers.
In July of 2003, the department added a midnight shift and they became a 24-hour, 7-day-per-week department for the first time in nearly a decade.
Due to budget constraints, they had not been able to offer 24 hour service since 1995.
The township police also helped to bring closure to two cases that had been unsolved for years.
In 2002, Street submitted the DNA to the State of Michigan from an unsolved rape case that occurred in Niles Township 11 years ago.
Last year, a match was found for Raymond Ebel, who was in an Indiana jail for a parole violation.
This was the first time in Michigan that an arrest was made by DNA from a suspect in another state. Ebel is currently serving two life sentences for the crime.
The second case involved a man named Jorge Duran.
Street was investigating the man for using a false identity when he found out Duran had an outstanding warrant for child molestation in New York.
Duran fled the area and was eventually caught by U.S. Marshals in Los Angeles.
Street also wanted to commend reserve officer Harry Sebesta for his bravery and dedication in a police standoff on Dec. 20.
As a reserve officer, Sebesta is a non-paid volunteer.
Despite the cold weather and the danger of the situation, Sebesta remained on the scene for hours.
When the suspect finally came out of the front door, Sebesta provided backup as Street placed the man under arrest.