Gary officials voice concern, opposition over new state police ordinances

The city of Gary, Indiana is in the midst of a nationwide search for its 12th police chief since 2006.

The search motivated the city's mayor to order a full review of the police department.

In April, Mayor Jerome Prince announced the partnership between Gary and Indiana State Police to reform the department from the ground up.

After reviewing all aspects of the department, state police drafted 17 ordinances — many of which relate to the authorities of the police chief and shift power from the Police Civil Service Commission to the chief, who is appointed by the mayor. 

During a Public Safety Committee meeting last week, Council President William Goodwin voiced concern and opposition that the process was done without council input.


State Police Supt. Douglas Carter responded to the comments Monday morning — saying the Gary Police Department has problems, but is filled with good people. 

"We have hope for your future, for your kids. We want the schools to reopen and become vibrant, for economic development to begin, for violence to go down, for young Black men to quit being murdered," said Supt. Carter. "I know I don't look like that, but it doesn't mean I don't care about you."

The proposed amendments to the city's policing were reviewed by the Fraternal Order of Police and the Lake County Prosecutor’s Office before being presented to the City Council.

The Public Safety Committee will continue reviewing the ordinances Wednesday.