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