Updated: September 3, 2013 7:09AM
GARY--After an extended executive session that delayed its public meeting by 20 minutes, the Gary Police Civil Service Commission whipped through the agenda with almost no discussion.
The board did agree to begin accepting applications for new recruits as soon as possible. Chief Wade Ingram said his command staff interviewed 10 applicants and expects to hire them all once they are approved by the state pension.
“That still leaves me 12 short,” Ingram said. A full complement of officers is 235.
Two officers resigned recently. Detective Albert Hulitt accepted a job with the Hammond Police Department and Sgt. Noe Perez will work in the private sector. Other officers say they are looking for work, citing the low pay, lack of wage increases, poor equipment and other challenges.
Once the 10 recruits are hired, they will attend the police academy for about 18 weeks, then become familiar with Gary streets and department practices by riding with field training officers for several months. Ingram said there was an 11th candidate on the hiring eligibility list, but his staff could not reach her by phone or at her home address.
Patrol officers and commanders alike note the lack of personnel limits the department’s ability to respond effectively to calls for service.
In other business, the commission acknowledged unspecified disciplinary action against two sergeants, one corporal and three patrolmen.
Commissioner Linda Peterson complimented the chief on his presentation to a community meeting held in the city’s 2nd district last month.
The meeting adjourned 10 minutes after it started.