In a report of the Gary (Ind.) Police Department offered by Indiana Governor Mike Pence, the Gary Police Department Technical Assessment Team determined that Gary PD needs to create a vehicle purchase program, improve vehicle safety, and expand in-vehicle technology.
Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson requested assistance from Gov. Pence in the form of State troopers to address a rise in violence the City. Gov. Pence instead offered to conduct a review of the overall efficiency of departmental operations and the level of sustainability to reduce violence. In addition to the report, Gov. Pence is offering the PD with assistance with training, processing evidence, and technology, The Republic reported.
The Technical Assessment Team, which consisted of respected law enforcement administrators and employees of Lake County and the U.S. Attorney’s Office, stated that the PD needs a vehicle purchase program. Most of the vehicles purchased in the last few years have been bought using grant money until recently, when select officers, top commanders, and the mayor received new vehicles, the team stated.
The team also wrote that the PD needs to ensure vehicles are safe. When asked about bald tires team members saw on vehicles, officers said they were told “there was no money for new or replacement tires.”
A large portion of the fleet consists of unmarked police cars – team members suggested the PD evaluate and determine if any unmarked cars could be marked to increase police visibility.
Other recommendations include increasing accountability for the care and maintenance of vehicles, installing mobile data terminals for all patrol units (only half have them), and determining a priority list of needed equipment to include emergency needs and short- and long-term equipment goals.
Gary PD had 216 vehicles as of Aug. 21 and supports a take-home vehicle program for officers who live within the City or have special assignments. There are 109 participating vehicles in the take-home program.
"We will review all external input and offers to assist as we move forward to access the help needed and make the changes that we deem appropriate,” the mayor and Police Chief Wade Ingram wrote in a joint statement.