Above: Merrillville Police Chief Kosta Nuses inspects Detective-Commander Matthew Vasel during the department inspections on May 20, 2023, at the Merrillville Municipal Complex located at 7820 Broadway.
Merrillville’s Finest were dressed in their finest as they gathered Saturday afternoon for Police Inspections. Merrillville Police Chief Kosta Nuses said it’s been close to 20 years since the department conducted inspections, and he felt it was important to bring the program back to the Town. It involves all police officers coming together dressed in their Class A uniforms. Class A uniforms are dress uniforms with neckties and creased slacks and officers can look very crisp and sharp in these uniforms.
(above) MPD Officers make last-minute adjustments to get ready for their inspections.
Each officer is examined to make sure they are properly groomed, their uniforms are clean and pressed, they’re wearing the correct badges, and they have on shined shoes. It was amazing seeing our entire police force together and looking professional. I walked around taking photographs and you could feel the sense of pride in the air. It was a great reminder of what it takes to be in this profession today. I am thankful to all our women and men who are serving our community.
In addition to checking the appearance of the officers, police vehicles also are inspected during the program. “Because, of course, your vehicle is an extension of you,” Chief Nuses said. He said there are a variety of reasons police departments have annual inspection ceremonies. It serves as an opportunity to demonstrate the professionalism of a department and shows officers are ready to go. “That’s the administrative portion of it,” Nuses said. “It’s in order to get you prepared for your task at hand.”
I spoke to Chief Nuses, and he said the ceremony carried another meaning for him. “It was a chance for us to shine, a chance for us to show off who we are, a chance to be proud of who we are, and a chance to show how good we look,” Nuses said.
And they all looked good. It was especially impressive to see the entire department together which really doesn’t happen since shifts are always on patrol in our town. Cooperation from neighboring communities who responded to Merrillville calls during the inspection allowed Merrillville officers to all participate in the inspection.
The inspections took place as part of National Police Week. Nuses said it’s imperative for officers to look their best not only during inspections but also to honor and respect fallen officers. “This includes one of our very own, Officer Nick Schultz,” Nuses said, as he asked all officers for a moment of silence in memory of all fallen officers. Schultz was killed in the line of duty in September 2014.
Merrillville Police Commissioner Bill Poling, a retired Merrillville officer, is thankful the Police Department restarted the inspection ceremony because it can build camaraderie within the department.
“It was a lot of work to do to get ready for it, but it was definitely worth it because you have the opportunity to see everyone all at once and the opportunity to make sure your uniform and everything else is up to where you want it to be,” Poling said.
Town officials are grateful for the assistance from officers from the Hobart, Gary, and Lake County police departments, who handled calls during the inspections.
“We need to thank our neighboring police departments for covering Merrillville’s calls during the inspection, which allowed all of our officers to be together and participate,” Bella said. -“And thank you to all of our Officers for serving and protecting each and every day.”
– Rick Bella, Town Council President, Ward 5 Representative