A 15 year veteran of the Gary Police Department has been tapped to take over the department.
Larry McKinley will immediately step in as chief, filling the vacancy after the sudden resignation of former chief Wade Ingram.
Ingram’s resignation comes on the heels of several high profile murders, including an on-duty police officer and an overall spike in homicides in the past 60 days.
The latest homicide occurred Monday morning. 41 year old Antonio Tolbert was shot and killed at his auto repair business in the 1100 block of Chase Street in Gary.
It follows other high profile homicides including that of 88 year old James Haywood, who was stabbed to death inside his home July 11th.
Just a few days before that, the decomposing body of flight attendant DeCarol Deloney-Cain was found in a car trunk along a remote road in Gary.
On July 6th, Gary police officer Jeff Westerfield was shot and killed while on duty in his patrol car.
Gary’s mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson tells WGN News the resignation of Wade Ingram was his idea and that she moved quickly to fill the post with Larry McKinley, a 15 year veteran of the Gary police department, now charged with dealing with the recent rise in crime.
“It just happened around around the same time that we were reviewing our approach to law-enforcement Chief Ingram decided to resign and pursue some other avenues and we certainly support him in that,” Freeman-Wilson said.
The president of Gary’s Fraternal Order of Police tells WGN there’s more behind Ingram’s resignation than what’s being said in public.
“The city, I assume was interested in going in a different direction and that’s fine but you can’t be the chief of police and have someone else trying to run the department for you and sometimes that happens,” Sam Abegg said. “Politics get involved in the police department and it always ends up bad.”
Larry McKinley did not talk to us today, about the challenges ahead in his new role.
Former chief wade Ingram had been with the department since 2011.