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Case increase at the Tippecanoe Co. Prosecutor's Office

The Tippecanoe County Prosecutor's Office is trying to keep up with a significant case load increase.

Posted: Dec. 13, 2018 6:49 PM
Updated: Dec. 13, 2018 6:50 PM

TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) — The Tippecanoe County Prosecutor's Office is looking at a total of nearly 25,000 cases this year.

"We have to keep up," said Tippecanoe County Prosecutor Patrick Harrington. 

He said his office receives a new police report every 14 minutes. Harrington believes the county's drug problem is likely a factor and so is the increase in population.

The Tippecanoe County Council granted his requests for five new deputy attorneys starting in January.

"Obviously, we could use more but five is a great addition for us," said Harrington. "We are going to try to see how that works and we will sit back and review probably in a year or two to see what the case numbers look like in 2020."

Right now, his deputy prosecutors handle about 885 cases a piece and work about 6.3 days per week without overtime. They're all salary paid.

"I've come in on Sundays and have to tell them to go home," said Harrington. 

To better oversee the office, Harrington is moving two supervisor positions and adding one new position to create three division chiefs. Those people will be in charge of day to day operations, training, and working closely with law enforcement on pressing matters.

"They've been doing this now for about five months without the title and we've received overwhelming support and feedback from the courts, the judges, the clerks," said Harrington. 

He's hoping these changes help his staff's quality of life.

"Because what we see every day does effect your mental health, it's stressful," said Harrington. 

The five new positions will put Harrington's office at 29 deputy prosecutors.

Harrington said overall, the office has seen a 38 percent increase since 2014 with a little more than two thousand additional cases in the last two years.

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