Arrests up, robberies down in Gary
by Lori Caldwell email@example.com | 648-3258 June 23, 2012 5:42PM
These five suspects are all in Gary on warrants. The Gary police command staff gets an updated list at every crime analysis review session, along with information about new parolees living in their city and "persons of interest" who bear watching. | Provided Photo~Sun-Times Media ptmet
Updated: July 25, 2012 6:29AM
GARY — The color-coded maps, bar graphs and charts flash on the screen, telling the Gary police command staff how they’re doing in the battle against crime.
Whether it’s good news, bad news, success stories or trouble “hot spots,” one thing these leaders know: Numbers don’t lie.
Chief Wade Ingram initiated twice-monthly meetings for crime analysis review this spring. The statistics aid commanders in how to deploy various city services.
“Most of these robberies involve known parties,” crime analysis officer Douglas Drummond observed as he posted a citywide map showing the location of seven robberies that occurred the first two weeks of June.
Only one, when an AT&T employee was robbed while working in Glen Park, involved an unknown assailant, he added.
More important, there were no commercial robberies during this period. Cmdr. Michael Jackson said detectives are augmenting patrol by working on the streets at least once per month.
Comparing June 2012 burglaries with the same time frame last year, Ingram praised the newly formed Crime Suppression Unit for a dramatic drop — 50 burglaries compared to 257 last year at this time.
“They have made a difference,” Ingram observed.
The nine-member Crime Suppression Unit, originally formed as the Robbery Suppression Unit, began in response to numerous robberies, many involving downtown and Midtown businesses.
The spree ended when federal charges were filed against four suspects: Lavelle “Fudge” Hatley, 17, of Gary; Jeremiah Stevenson, 22, of Gary; Nathan Elmore, 21, of Gary; and Seandell Rounds, 20, of Riverdale, Ill.
Ingram said he plans to add more officers to CSU, noting their ability to target troubled areas has resulted in increased arrests and a reduction in crime.
The original unit included two K-9 officers, who were able to respond to pursuits and other hot calls quickly because they were not part of regular patrol duties. Cpl. John Artibey and Patrolman Andrew Cuevas provided tracking and searching services. In a staffing change, however, the two were shifted back to patrol where they are assigned a sector, responsible for taking reports and responding to routine calls for eight hours.
Ingram did not respond to an email from the Post-Tribune seeking comments about the change.
From February through May, CSU has made almost 20 percent of all arrests by the department. Of the 95 firearms seized, CSU is responsible for 20 percent of those, Drummond reported.
Just this month, the team, led by Lt. Samuel Roberts, has made 44 arrests and seized six weapons.
Ingram was particularly interested in results at Delaney Community and Dorie Miller housing developments, where overtime teams had been stationed on the afternoon shift on certain days of the week.
The calls for service in those two areas are up this year. Drummond said having police presence there has made residents more willing to report crime. In addition, the officers generate calls on their own as they patrol the streets.
Crime is down at both places, while the number of arrests are up 50 percent, the statistics show.
Financial restrictions halted the housing-only patrol duties this past week, however.
The staff reviewed each shooting case that has occurred since the last meeting, asking investigators the status of each one.
CSU Cpl. Javier Garza presented several men wanted on warrants, and more he described as “persons of interest.”
“They’re not wanted for anything, just people we keep an eye on because we know their history,” Garza reported.
Compared with last year, homicides are down 19 percent but gunshot victims increased 47 percent, with 18 shooting victims in May alone.
“We need to beef up CSU to address street crime,” he told commanders.