Chesterton Tribune



Gary mayor asks help from state police to stop violence

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GARY, Ind. (AP) - The mayor of Gary wants state police to help patrol the streets of the northwest Indiana city to help try to deal with an increase in violence this summer.

Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson said she made the request to Gov. Mike Pence’s office Thursday because the city has endured weeks of shootings.

“We really need to send a message to those who are involved in violence that this is something serious,” Freeman-Wilson told The Times of Munster.

State Police Sgt. Ann Wojas said her department is considering the request. State police officials met with Gary Police Chief Wade Ingram and other officers on Friday.

Pence spokeswoman Christy Denault said the governor is working with state police to evaluate the mayor’s request.

The Post-Tribune reported Saturday that 37-year-old Clester Sims was the city’s 28th homicide victim this year. The Times reported at the same time last year the city had 17 homicides.

Freeman-Wilson said city officials are pursuing multiple approaches to try to stop the violence. If Pence decides to send state police to Gary, it wouldn’t be the first time. In October 1995, then-Gov. Evan Bayh sent 50 state troopers to try to stem violence during a year when the city recorded a record 130 homicides. Gary held the title of America’s “murder capital” for having the nation’s highest per capita homicide rate in 1984, 1993 and 1995.




Posted 7/15/2013