Director of Communications

Mike Brickner

Porter County Government has recently joined the 911 Communication Center with the Porter County Emergency Management Agency.

New Porter County Executive Director of Public Safety, Mike Brickner, brings to Porter County over 31 years of service with the Valparaiso Police Department. Mike was promoted through the ranks of the Valparaiso Police Department, holding numerous positions before being named Chief by Mayor Costas, 14 years ago. "Leadership is an honor and a privilege," he states, "I was blessed with my position at the VPD."

Mike Brickner -- Chesterton High School Class of 1979 -- was one of 13 candidates from across the nation short-listed by recruiting consultant P4 Global for the position of Porter County Executive Director of Public Safety. Mike brings the view of leadership as "an honor and a privilege."

Having lived in Porter County most of his life, Mike makes it clear that: "This is my home and public safety is my passion."

Brickner began his new position on August 21st with the County.

Executive Assistant

Judy Gehrels

Judy brings over 25 years of corporate Administrative, Management and Public Relations experience (Coca-Cola Bottling, Chicago/National, Calgon Corporation, Merck and a Senior Manager of a family property management company.) She began her career in public safety in 2011 when hired as a Probationary Telecommunicator. Due to personal issues, she resigned from full-time work and was immediately re-hired as part time Administrative Assistant. Within the year she was hired as full time Executive Assistant to the Director. Judy found a passion in promoting *Smart911 to the community, and is now Porter County Central Communications Smart911 Project manager. (Porter County was 1st county in Indiana to have the vision to offer this service to its residents) In Judy's free time she sings (with her husband) in a band.

*Smart911 is a free service used by public safety agencies across the country to enhance communication and response for their community.

Assistant Director of Communications

Gina Kennedy


Administrative Assistant

Tristan Kehle


Quality Assurance Manager

Sue Baugher



Mapping/911 Database Administrator

Scott Valpatic

Scott was hired at Porter County Central Communications in October of 2002 as mapping and application developer. Using ESRI's ArcGIS products and a series of additional applications he developed, Scott was able to immediately impact the map update process and improve accuracy in the Porter County 911 Dispatch mapping system. Scott has developed several applications which support dispatch operations by providing additional tools to improve dispatcher efficiency. Additionally, Scott developed a map and addressing training program specific to Porter County for new dispatchers. Before joining Porter County Central Communications Scott was employed as a Geographic Information Systems Analyst at Indiana University Purdue University at Indianapolis. Scott is also a diving coach at Valparaiso High School.