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Remembering April 28, 1997: Donald R. “Charley” Knepple

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Officer Down Memorial Page

charley KneppleProbation Officer Donald Knepple was shot and killed after being ambushed by a man at a counseling center on South Calhoun Street in Fort Wayne.

The suspect, a former juvenile corrections officer who had been convicted of attempted child molestation, had arranged a meeting with his counselor and Probation Officer Knepple with the intent of murdering them both. As the meeting took place at about 10:00 am, the suspect fatally shot both of them in the head before he fled to the rear of the center and committed suicide. At the time of the incident Probation Officer Knepple, like other officers in his department, were not armed.

Probation Officer Knepple had served with the Allen County Adult Probation Department for 12 years. He was a US Army veteran of the Vietnam War and an Air National Guard reservist. Probation Officer Knepple was survived by his wife, 16-year-old son and 13-year-old daughter.

St. Joseph County youth detention alternative gets grant

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South Bend Tribune on April 13, 2015 by Amanda Gray

552b528c3f265.imageSOUTH BEND — The goal is simple: Make sure that local juveniles get the help they need, when they need it to stay out of trouble.

The devil might be in the details — especially when it comes to implementing a large, systemic change to the assessment of juveniles when they first encounter police in St. Joseph County.

Pete Morgan, executive director for the Thomas N. Frederick Juvenile Justice Center in South Bend, said he hopes the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative, a nationwide program through the Annie E. Casey Foundation, working in 19 Indiana counties, will assist the county to succeed in meeting its goal.

Firefighters rescue man who wedged inside wall to evade probation violation arrest

Full Article on April 23, 2014 by AP

imagesMONROVIA, Ind. (AP) – A central Indiana man who hid inside a wall in his home to avoid arrest had to be rescued by firefighters after he became wedged next to its chimney for more than a day.

Steven Shuler was trying to avoid arrest on a probation violation Monday when he squeezed down a narrow hole in the attic floor next to the chimney in his home in Monrovia, about 25 miles southwest of Indianapolis, officials said.

Morgan Township Fire Chief Miguel Ongay said Shuler had to stay in his 16 inch-wide hiding place for more than a day because he couldn’t climb out. A visiting friend found him Tuesday morning and called firefighters to retrieve him.


Are Police Violating Privacy With GPS Tracking?

Full Article on 04/10/2015 by Allison Manning

About 3,000 people in Massachusetts are wearing court-ordered ankle monitors right now. And under a little-known agreement between police and probation officials, officers can use those monitors to see where many of those people are at any time.

It’s a longstanding practice for probation officials to keep track of people who have agreed to wear the monitors as a condition of their freedom. But police are also using the monitors to try to catch them committing new crimes.

Civil liberties experts say the situation raises questions about whether police can continue to scrutinize the movements of people who in some cases have not been convicted of anything.

The recent shooting of a Boston police officer during a traffic stop has dominated headlines for weeks. But one detail that has been largely overlooked is how that stop began.

One of the passengers in the car was Dennis A. Wilson, who was on GPS monitoring as he awaited trial on charges that included threatening a police officer, resisting arrest and driving without a license. Police wanted to talk to him about a shooting in Roxbury, and used his ankle monitor to find him.

Another Porter County Adult Probation Officer Retires: Mr. Rick Staresina

by Jim Taylor District #1 POPAI Rep.


From left: Judge Bradford, Rick Staresina, Judge Harper

From left: Judge Bradford, Rick Staresina, Judge Harper

On March 20th 2015, the first day of “Spring”, Adult Probation Officer Richard Staresina “Sprung out” of the day to day hustle n bustle of the Monday-Friday life as a Adult Probation Officer, and jumped right into a lifestyle of vacations & total relaxation. The same day, a retirement reception was held on the 4th floor of the Porter County Courthouse. His family, friends, several co-workers, Judges and staff from various departments within the Courthouse, stopped in to say hello and wished him well in his retirement.

Mr. Staresina is a United States Army Veteran. He was honorably discharged from the Army in 1969. Upon his discharge from the U.S Army he became a Police Officer for the Valparaiso, IN., Police Department. During his tenure as a Valparaiso Police Officer, he was a patrolman and then later became a detective. He also was a Certified Forensic Polygraph Examiner conducting over 1,000 specific tests. He obtained a Masters Degree in Criminal Justice from Indiana University (Northwest Campus), in Gary, IN.

In 1991 he retired from the Valparaiso Police Department. Soon thereafter, he went into private business owning Spot-Not Car Wash for 14 years. He was hired as a Part-Time Probation Officer in Porter Co., for a few years. He monitored persons on Home Detention and was one the first designated Domestic Violence Officers in the Department. In 2002, when a full time position became available in Adult Probation, Mr. Staresina got out of the Car-Wash business and was hired as a full time Adult Probation Officer.

After 13 years of full time Adult Probation supervision, at the age of 73, Mr. Staresina, will be surely missed in the Department. He always was blunt, honest, and spoke his mind. He had a great sense of humor and made the job fun. He was always helpful to not only his co-workers but also with his clients. He had a keen sense of being able to tell who was sincere and a flat out con-artist. Mr. Staresina is a dedicated hard worker. He would always have a story to tell that made you laugh and yet sometimes, also made you think about reality of everyday life. He always shared his thoughts and ideas of the profession we deal with on a daily basis in the field of Probation.

Mr. Staresina says he plans to enjoy his retirement with his wife Nancy, who just recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. Congrats! He has 3 wonderful sons and 4 Grandchildren. He also plans to spend a lot of time with them during his retirement. Rick has dedicated so much to the citizens of Valparaiso, IN., & in Porter County. With that, from all of us, to you and yours, it is greatly appreciated. You are a good, respectful, generous, & caring man. We will miss you sincerely. Enjoy your family and your retirement!