Gary launches search for police chief amid other department changes – Chicago Tribune

Gary’s search for a new police chief is ongoing as the city’s partnership with the Indiana State Police aims to update and improve the operation of Gary’s police department.

Mayor Jerome Prince provided an update on the research and steps that will be taken to update departmental policy Wednesday during a joint press conference with the FAI, the Gary Police Department and the County Attorney’s Office. of Lake.

“About 90 days ago, we forged a partnership with the goal of administratively restructuring our Gary Police Department and also looking for opportunities to improve our tactical side with the goal of creating a community of safety,” said declared Prince.

Over the past 90 days, several reports have been submitted and the efforts appear to be working well. Prince said while the process was initially expected to take 45 to 90 days, it was always understood that things took longer, as long as progress was made the effort would continue.

He said the nationwide search for a new police chief is a big part of where the department is heading in the future. A job description has recently been finalized and posted and applications will be accepted until August 14th. Indiana State Police Superintendent Douglas Carter said more than 20 people have so far applied for the position of police chief since it was posted more than a week ago. Candidates are both local and from as far away as Arizona and New York.

The city tapped former Gary Police Chief Garnett Watson to chair the five-member hiring committee.

Community feedback on the new leader will also be solicited. Prince said it has not yet been decided how this will work, but representatives from every segment of the community will be brought together as part of the interview process.

“One of the things I also mention throughout the process is that Gary Police Department command staff continued to realize opportunities to help us. He touted recent programs, including Operation Safe Zone, which provides real-time data to the Gary Police Department, which creates a force multiplier allowing the ears and eyes to be in more places than they currently are.

Carter said the partnership with the city is unique and seen by other departments across the country as they work together to find innovative solutions to policing.

Carter said law enforcement had shifted in the direction of the May 2020 killing of George Floyd.

“I tell you they should change. The whole post-George Floyd situation has had law enforcement, communities and agency leaders rethinking how they interact with people,” Carter said.

Some of the necessary changes identified from the partnership include the area of ​​property management, human resources, de-escalation training and ongoing policy review.

Technology will play a role in many changes. De-escalation training should include hands-on training scenarios to help agents instead of lectures and quizzes. There is also technology that responds to the way agents react, their speech and their movements. Carter said Gov. Eric Holcomb has committed resources to expand those training opportunities.

Carter said instituting technology in evidence asset management will help the department create a tracking mechanism that will track assets from the time they are logged until they are destroyed.

Although the department has a human resources department, Carter said best practice calls for there to be more than one person in the position and with the necessary knowledge to improve succession depth.

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Brandon D. James