9 Gary Police Officers, 2 Code Enforcement Officers For . . . ?

7 Nov

by Ken Davidson

On Saturday night, nearly the entire Gary Police Department was involved in some type of activity that no one seems to be able to explain. The Gazette received several tips regarding some type of police activity at 11th and Grant Streets in Gary. Upon arrival, the photograph below of two code enforcement officers sitting along the side of the road was taken. Shortly thereafter, several Gary police officers arrived and I was ordered to leave the area. Witnesses allege that up to 9 Gary Police Officers were at the scene on a Saturday night. At least 6 were there for several hours and at least one camped out at the property overnight. Scanner traffic said a “break in” was reported.

Now a Gary business owner is claiming that the administration of Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson is using the federally funded code enforcement department to retaliate against him due to his criticism of the Administration.

Business owner Andy Young states that he has had several issues with various properties throughout the City. One of his properties is in the footprint for the Gary Sanitary District Ralston Lagoon project near the Gary airport. Young states that the city has seized that property illegally and threatened him with arrest if he attempts to access it. Despite an EPA Mandate to resolve the matter by 2009, that case was just brought to Court by the City in 2012. And even now, as 2013 winds down, the case still lingers, although the GSD has effectively taken control of the property several years ago.

gary police and code enforcement working overtime

2 Gary Code Enforcement Officers sit outside a business at 11th and Grant on Saturday evening

The question remains, who ordered all of this police activity. It is clear that a police officer would not “sit” on a property overnight without specific direction to do so. Chief Ingram stated clearly that he knew nothing about the incident when asked on Monday morning. A request for information to the Mayor’s Office was met with the following statement from Chelsea Whittington:

Currently a statement is being crafted by our legal department
for distribution. We are working to meet your 5 o’clock deadline however if we are
unable to oblige, you will receive the statement tomorrow. We respectfully request
that you do not print that the mayor’s office was unavailable for comment and let
this email serve as correspondence.

That letter was yesterday and a follow-up conversation with Ms. Whittington today resulted in her asking the Gazette for press “credentials.” Apparently, they have not finished crafting that response. Calls to code enforcement supervisor Kenya Maclin were not returned.

If you have been the subject of code enforcement action, please let us know about it ken@northwestindianagazette.com or submit a tip, above.

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14 Responses to “9 Gary Police Officers, 2 Code Enforcement Officers For . . . ?”

  1. Judy Gillis via Facebook November 7, 2013 at 4:22 pm #

    SOP for the area. It never matters how WELL they do their jobs; only how well they USE the job to accomplish their goals. And Heaven help anyone who dares ask questions! Do NOT drive thru Gary, sir!

  2. Sharon Briski November 7, 2013 at 5:01 pm #

    I left Gary after 48 years just 3 years ago. Apparently nothing and I do mean nothing has changed. I don’t know this for fact as I no longer live there, however, it would be interesting to know if this particular business owner is white. The Gary City Counsel disapproves the vast majority of white proprietorship trying to or have tried, to invest back into the city. If you think I am biased then you might want to watch some of the last 20 years worth of the city counsel meetings on the cable station they are shown on. All the property around Gleason park and other city-owned properties have been denied sale to white business owners. I was born in Gary, IN in 1962. As I said I only left there 3 years ago. Think what you want but some things never ever ever change. I call them as I see them. Just sayin’. Oh and as a post-script; GREAT USE OF TAXPAYER MONEY sending “how many” police and code enforcement cars to this insignificant issue. If memory serves me correctly, there were far more pressing issues to deal with than this…..(murders, drugs, prostitution, corruption…..). Glad to see there is merit to my opinion.

  3. Anonymous November 7, 2013 at 7:10 pm #

    Might be interesting to file a FOIA on the Gary Police Department tapes during this period of time. I am sure the chatter would tell the tail.

    If Ms.Karen Freeman-Wilson is behind this, another chip off the McDermott block. Aren’t both Irish?

  4. Silas Sconiers November 7, 2013 at 8:21 pm #

    That corner by the railroad tracks can make the city millions of dollars in fines against the railroads. I have filed a complaint about the trains tying up the city. Long story but no train can block any road crossing more than 10 minutes.

  5. Jean Munger Mikula via Facebook November 7, 2013 at 8:46 pm #

    Donuts at Dunkin Donuts???????

  6. dwight taylor November 7, 2013 at 9:31 pm #

    The politics of this incident and many others makes my skin crawl. This property has been an eyesore in Gary for years. Why all of a sudden is it recognized? Gary business owner Andy Young doesn’t live in Gary. He has many local addresses though. You can’t go to any surrounding predominately white community and find a lot full of trashed vehicles sitting on a main thoroughfare. Only in Gary. What puzzles me is why did this take so long to address? Perhaps a backroom deal went sour.

    • ken November 8, 2013 at 10:01 am #

      If you look at Lake Station or Portage, you will see similar types of towing and salvage yards. There is at least one that is clearly visible from 94 in Portage. I am not sure how race gets injected into the conversation. Zoning is done on a local level.

  7. Anonymous November 7, 2013 at 10:51 pm #

    Seek the wizard Shadow Fire…that thing can find anything.

  8. Chuck Pullen via Facebook November 8, 2013 at 7:56 am #

    Someone must not have cut their grass?

  9. Andy Young via Facebook November 9, 2013 at 10:01 am #

    If anyone would care to discuss this, please feel free to message me.

  10. Andy Young via Facebook November 13, 2013 at 8:02 am #

    This building is as structurally sound as any building in the city. It is far more structurally sound than most of the other buildings in the neighborhood. I would encourage anyone who is interested to take a drive around the neighborhood in which the business is located. There is street after street of abandoned houses, many of them in utter states of collapse. This action has absolutely nothing to do with the structural soundness of the building and everything to do with silencing someone’s voice that is critical of many of the actions of this administration. This whole police action is an attempt to restrict my right to free speech. The best way to get someone to stop being critical of what they are doing is for them to quit doing such asinine things. It is a shame that the code enforcement department that was specifically funded by the federal government to address specific issues with residential housing in specifically targeted areas of the city has again been corrupted and is now being used as a weapon against critics of this administration. Meanwhile, the neighborhoods that could have benfited by this federal grant go completely unserved and neglected. Par for the course!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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  3. Mayor’s Statement Dodges Police Questions | The Northwest Indiana Gazette - November 12, 2013

    […] response to the Gazette article regarding a large police presence at 11th and grant on Saturday November 2, the Mayor issued a […]

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