Just days after her historic win, Michigan City Mayor-elect Angie Nelson Deuitch is busy preparing to transition into her new role in January. Beginning Jan. 1, Marty Corley will step into the role of Michigan City Police Chief.
“We’re working hard to identify the right people for the right positions so we can hit the ground running on Day 1 and provide enhanced customer service to the community,” she said. “We’ll be making multiple announcements over the next several weeks as we attempt to work with the current administration to ensure a smooth transition for everyone.”
With public safety a top priority for the incoming mayor, her first appointments are the new police chiefs. “Public safety is a priority for our community and our neighborhoods,” Nelson Deuitch said. “Having safe, stable neighborhoods creates a sense of community pride, and we’re trying to bring people together.
“Our public safety officers and other city departments will work hand in hand to make that vision happen; but the key is that it’s going to take an effort by everybody.”
Beginning Jan. 1, Marty Corley will step into the role of Michigan City Police Chief.
“The ultimate goal is to have adequate staffing on the uniform patrol shifts and provide additional staff in the investigative division, including the detective bureau and La Porte County Drug Taskforce,” Corley said of his intentions coming into his new position.
“Additionally, we will look to staff more officers in specialty units that will focus on more proactive and community-oriented policing. The Michigan City Police Department will aggressively pursue all
opportunities to break down the barriers of police and citizens working together. The overall training of staff and additional manning of all divisions of the department will lead to stronger community outreach, including the training of officers to better assist people experiencing mental health emergencies.”
A 23-year veteran of the MCPD, Corley has been the assistant chief of operations since 2021. Prior, he served for 18 years on the department’s Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team, 12 years in the investigative division, 7 years in the uniform patrol division, and more than 10 years as a drug recognition expert and Indiana law enforcement certified instructor, among other roles.
Steve Forker, who has been police chief since October 2022, will trade positions with Corley, taking over the role of assistant chief of operations.
“Over the last 14 months, Chief Corley, Chief Cooney and I have had the opportunity to work closely together to strengthen our police department,” Forker said. “What makes our team great is the trust, respect and commitment for each other, and how that carries to the entire department.
“The three of us have had opportunities to work with each other in different divisions over the years, which allows us to know each other’s strengths and weaknesses, and how we can complement each other. We operate as a cohesive team, prioritizing the department and community needs.”
Forker has been with the MCPD for 18 years. His previous positions within the department include patrol officer, field training officer, member of the SWAT team (where he was promoted to Alpha Team Leader in 2015), general investigator, school resource officer, and commander of the Division of Professional Standards.
Dave Cooney will remain in his position as assistant chief of services.
“As chief of services, my role is to provide support in managing the department’s financial priorities effectively,” Cooney explained. “I monitor and analyze financial data, create budget projections, identify cost-saving opportunities, assist with financial forecasting and planning, ensure the department’s resources are allocated appropriately, research and evaluate potential grant initiatives, and provide Chief Corley with the necessary information to make informed decisions.
“Going forward into 2024, continuing education for all officers and supervisors will be a top priority, as well as expanding each division within the department with qualified personnel.”
In his 17 years with the MCPD, Cooney has served as assistant chief of operations, a shift sergeant in the patrol division, detective, crime scene investigator, and a member of the SWAT team, where he served as interim commander. He also is an Indiana Data and Communications System (IDACS) coordinator, Records Management System (RMS) manager, certified VirTra instructor, and member of the MCPD’s pension board.
“I’m excited to keep the complement of Marty Corley, Steve Forker and Dave Cooney, who will continue implementing programs and public safety measures together as a team,” Nelson Deuitch said.
“Over the last year, they’ve done a great job recruiting and increasing the number of new hires. Now, we want to focus on community policing. I’m very confident in the three of them and the work they’ve done.”
In their current roles, Forker, Corley and Cooney have focused on recruiting in order to counter an exodus of officers that left the MCPD significantly understaffed. After hiring 19 new officers over the past
year, the department expects to enter 2024 just one officer shy of a full complement of 84.
“The administrative team will transition the focus to beefing up training for our young staff so they can
better serve our community with integrity, dedication and professionalism. This will include professional
development of staff in areas of leadership and communication,” Corley said. Angie for Michigan City Mayor Angie Nelson Deuitch
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