The Crusader Newspaper Group

Richard Ligon named Gary’s new police chief

By David Denson

Richard Ligon, a retired federal agent with over 30 years of experience, has been appointed to head the Gary Police Department.

Mayor-elect Jerome Prince announced the appointment at a press conference Monday, December 10 at City Hall.

“Gary deserves a police chief who has the leadership and technical skills that will command respect of the department and the community and enable our officers to keep our neighborhoods safer,” Prince said in announcing the appointment.

Ligon brings a wealth of experience to the job having worked in law enforcement at the local, state and federal levels. He has served as public safety director for Gary, along with serving as a member of the Gary Police Commission.

Ligon will take over the leadership of the Gary Police Department at the beginning of the year. He said there are no plans for a major shakeup within the department. “As chief, I will place emphasis on developing relationships and mutual trust between the Gary Police Department and the community in and around Gary,” said Ligon.

“I like to reach out during times that are non-stressful. Police are always involved when there are stressful situations. When it is non-stressful is when we need to sit down and talk and be proactive in a lot of things. I think we are going to continue to do some of the things that work,” Ligon continued.

As police chief, Ligon said he will make sure that police officers have the training and other essentials to do their job. He plans to meet with the command staff to discuss taking the department in a new direction.

Ligon indicated that he doesn’t plan to implement any staff changes in the immediate future. Prince said that if there is a need to make changes, he will rely on Ligon’s leadership  to make those changes.

“The chief can absolutely rest assured in knowing that there will be no micromanaging from City Hall, and I will certainly rely on his expertise, opinion and insight in terms of picking his staff,” said Prince.

“It is hard being a first responder, it’s hard being in a department without proper equipment, without the proper support,’’ Ligon said.

While Ligon is advocating taking the police department in a new direction, both Ligon and Prince are reviewing programs from the Freeman-Wilson administration that address crime fighting.

One of the programs they said will remain is the Gary For Life Program.

“We absolutely plan to continue the program. From an administrative prospective, the chief and I have not discussed it in its entirety. The chief will be working to ensure that the program stays in place,” said Prince.

Both Prince and Ligon plan to engage the community, the private sector and law enforcement agencies on multiple levels in tackling crime in the city.

“We are going to reach out. We are going into the community and churches. There are fraternities and sororities that want to help. So, get ready because we are going to reach out to you and we are not expecting no, “said Ligon.

Recent News

Scroll to Top