Chesterton Tribune



Gary mayor appeals again to Pence for police help

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GARY, Ind. (AP) - The mayor of Gary has made a second appeal to Gov. Mike Pence asking for Indiana State Police help in patrolling the streets of the gritty northwestern Indiana city for three months.

Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson also provided details of a long-term plan to address violence in the city that Pence had asked for before considering her request, the Post-Tribune reported Thursday .

Since her initial letter to Pence on July 11, “several more homicides occurred claiming the lives of young African-American males. The situation in our community is now beyond urgent,” Freeman-Wilson, a former Indiana attorney general, wrote in her letter earlier this week.

The city’s 31 homicides so far this year represent an increase of more than 50 percent over the same period in 2012, Freeman-Wilson told Pence

Pence’s staff is reviewing the request, spokeswoman Kara Brooks said.

Freeman-Wilson also sent Pence a five-page plan called “Gary, Indiana for Life” that includes many operations and programs long in place in the city.

Freeman-Wilson wrote U.S. Justice Department officials will visit the city in early August and target two neighborhoods “in accessing and coordinating federal, state and local resources.” She also mentions an anti-violence task force she created in March.

State troopers spent three months patrolling in Gary in the fall and winter of 1995, when the city set a record 132 homicides for the year. Troopers during the three-month loan conducted checkpoints and numerous traffic stops during their stay, increasing law enforcement visibility, particularly on main thoroughfares.




Posted 7/26/2013