Gary’s mayor-elect wants a new police chief

November 17, 2011

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(WBEZ/Michael Puente)
Mayor-elect Karen Freeman-Wilson of Gary, Indiana stands with members of her transition team.

The mayor elect in Gary, Indiana plans to look far and wide for a new police chief in a city where crime is a big concern.

Democrat Karen Freeman Wilson easily won the general election last week. She says she wants to have a new police chief in place soon after she takes office January 1st.

She plans to place ads in trade publications in her national search. Under current Gary Mayor Rudy Clay, the police department is now under its ninth chief since he took office five years ago. Freeman-Wilson says she doesn’t think putting in yet another chief will upset the rank and file.

“That is a cause for some concern but we believe if there is yet another change that we would be able to transition that person in a while that it would work well for both the citizens as well as the police personnel,” Freeman-Wilson said at a Wednesday news conference.

The salary for the new chief will be limited, given the city’s budget crunch. Freeman-Wilson is tapping the expertise of Dennis Rittenmeyer to head her search committee.