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Gary’s new top cop announces new command staff

Gary Police Chief Larry McKinley | Supplied photo

Gary Police Chief Larry McKinley | Supplied photo

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Updated: September 11, 2014 6:35AM



GARY — With a new police chief comes the inevitable administrative changes.

Chief Larry McKinley, who completed his first full week as the city’s top cop, announced his command staff, which will begin their new assignments on Monday.

The only member of former Chief Wade Ingram’s staff to remain is Special Community Services Commander Kerry Rice. Rice, who joined the force 22 years ago, was part of the city’s early federally funded Community Oriented Policing efforts. Rice, whose permanent rank is Sergeant, is also the only member of the command staff who resides within city limits.

Both McKinley and Deputy Chief Thomas Papadakis, who returned from retirement to take the number-two post, both live in Hobart.

The most notable change in police hierarchy is the removal of Cpl. Sean Jones. Special Operations Commander Brian Evans replaces Jones, a corporal, who was singled out in an Indiana State Police assessment of the department last year. During a particularly violent month last year, Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson asked for troopers to patrol in the city, but the state responded by conducting a study that blasted Jones’ appointment. A long-time close associate of the mayor’s, Jones is a convicted felon charged during a state police investigation into drug trafficking at the Indiana State Prison, where he worked at the time.

Evans of Hobart, has more than 20 years on the job and holds a permanent rank of sergeant. Evans was recognized for his work with the Lake High Intensity Drug Trafficking Unit, where he and Sgt. Richard Allen led Operation Crackdown in the mid-90s. The program targeted vacant homes that were demolished to reduce urban blight and criminal activity. Evans’ most recent assignment was as the personnel administrator for the police department.

Lt. Samuel Roberts is the new commander over patrol, replacing Sgt. Michael Jackson. Roberts served as a commander for former Chief Reggie Harris and most recently has led the multiagency STOP team formed by East Chicago Chief Mark Becker. Roberts lives in Calumet Township.

The investigative division will be led by Lt. Del Stout. Stout, who has spent most of his career as a detective, replaces Sgt. Jon Cooros. Stout’s previous assignment was in the training division. He is a Highland resident.

Sgt. Sarita Titus will oversee supportive services, which includes communication center and technology matters. Titus began her career as a radio dispatcher before becoming a police officer about 16 years ago. She has been in charge of information technology for several years. She and her husband, Gary police Sgt. Anthony Titus, live in Crown Point.



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