Gary for Life began its partnership with the National Network in December, 2014 and held its first call-in in April, 2015. Project Manager Joy Holliday has overseen a number of call-ins since the inception of GVI in Gary and has worked with Corporal Doug Drummond to create a permanent MAG Unit within the police department to focus on group-involved violent crimes. NNSC staff is working with Gary for Life to install custom notifications in response to "beefs" and retaliations.
Gary is also one of pilot sites for the work of the National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice. The NI focuses on issues of procedural justice, implicit bias, and reconciliation with the goal of improving relationships and building trust between law enforcement and those it serves.
Aseante Hylick, formerly of the NNSC, reflects on her experiences facilitating police-community reconciliation in cities around the US.
"The survey found that while residents of these neighborhoods are distrustful of police, they nevertheless want to cooperate and partner with police to make their communities safer. A door-to-door survey in high-crime neighborhoods of six cities found that less than a third of residents believe police respect people’s rights, but the vast majority believe laws should be strictly followed and many would volunteer their time to help police solve crimes, find suspects, and discuss crime in their neighborhood."
"A town hall in Gary wasn't going to solve all of the issues surrounding race and policing in one sitting, panelists acknowledged, but at least they were beginning to talk about it."
"PBS special correspondent Charlayne Hunter-Gault speaks with Gary, Indiana, Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson, who has been working to mend relations between the community and police in her city."
Gary Chief of Police Larry McKinley recently published an op-ed outlining the strides that his department is is making when it comes to building community trust and enhancing public safety.
"Crime is down in Gary, a news release issued by city officials announced. Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson praised Gary police officers "for their untiring service to the Gary community," adding that "nearly all police and fire personnel received pay increases in 2015 and 2016."
Key takeaways from Kalamazoo and Gary chiefs: value the relationship and respect everyone.
The Gary Police Department is getting special attention -- and major grant money -- from the Department of Justice.