December 10, 2019: Mayor-elect Jerome Prince announces Richard Ligon as incoming Gary police chief

Another police chief exits Gary

Contributed By:The 411 News

Chief Richard Ligon resigns, Deputy Police Chief Brian Evans promoted

Mayor Jerome Prince announced Friday morning that his chief of police Richard Ligon has resigned.

"I asked Chief of Police Richard Ligon to submit his resignation this morning and he complied," Mayor Prince said.

The mayor called it a difficult decision but one that had to be made for a number of reasons.

"Listening to voices of our residents, we need a more community oriented and community focused police department. And I agree with them," the mayor said. "We need leaders to guide us through reform efforts and getting our police force more actively engaged with our residents."

For those reasons, he was promoting Deputy Police Chief Brian Evans to interim Gary Police Chief and Sgt. Michael Jackson to Deputy Police Chief. Evans is a 26-year veteran of the department. Jackson has served 29 years with the department..

"Additionally, over the last legislative session, my team and I sought special legislation to enable Ligon to serve as police chief. We were successful to a degree," Mayor Prince said. "There is still an impediment that exists and that is his having full police powers. In this climate of reform, nationally and locally, we need the most experienced people ready to assume those roles."

Before taking office, Ligon was Prince's first appointment in the new administration. Questions surfaced about the incoming mayor's choice of Ligon -- a selection made outside of the Gary Police ranks and an appointee who had never served on a municipal police force.

Ligon has extensive service as a federal police officer and with the state national guard.

When city council members questioned Ligon's eligibility to serve as police chief since he lacked a municipal background, Mayor Prince sought legislative action.

Most Indiana cities and towns require their police chiefs to have served at least 5 years on a municipal police force.

Back on December 10, when the mayor presented Ligion as the incoming police chief, Ligon spoke about making the Gary Police Dept. stronger by ending the revolving door of police chiefs. "To have as many chiefs as we've had in the last 10 years is unacceptable."

December 10, 2019 Photo: (L-r) Special Operations Commander Brian Colbert, mayor-elect Jerome Prince, Police Chief Richard Allen, Richard Ligon, Deputy Police Chief Brian Evans, and Commander Sarita Titus

Interim Gary Police Chief Brian Evans, left, and Deputy Police Chief Michael Jackson

Story Posted:06/20/2020

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