New Gary Police Officer Training Delayed
July 28, 2014 — The Associated Press — A Fraternal Order of Police leader says the city of Gary is dragging its feet in hiring additional officers, raising concerns among the rank and file in the wake of the fatal shooting of a patrolman.
FOP Lodge 61 President Sam Abegg tells the Post-Tribune says low pay, low morale, lack of equipment and manpower shortages make the Gary Police Department a difficult place to work.
Fourteen officer candidates are on a new hiring list but won’t attend the Northwest Indiana Law Enforcement Academy when classes begin Aug. 4 because the hiring process isn’t complete.
A spokeswoman for Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson says the city is trying to expedite the hiring, but a state pension official disagreed. Jennifer Dunlap with the Indiana Public Retirement System said the system hasn’t yet received “any recent baseline applications from the Gary City Police Department” — because she said the local hiring process has not finished. She noted that INPERS is not recommending a waiver.
Gary Patrolman Jeffery Westerfield was fatally shot July 6.