The Federal Bureau of Investigation informed the Hammond Police Department that it has cleared the two officers involved in the Jones arrest to return to active duty. Previously the Indiana State Police and Lake County Sheriff’s Department declined my invitation to investigate the matter. While the FBI investigation was pending, Officers Vicari and Turner were assigned office duties. After this most recent communication from the FBI the Hammond Police Department has placed them back on regular duty.
Since this incident occurred my office has met with community and church leaders. We have held a community forum and discussion that was attended by hundreds of residents as well as law enforcement past and present, church leaders, the NAACP and elected officials. Several issues have been brought to my attention that I am committed to continued discussion and finding solutions. Most importantly this includes a review of the testing and hiring practices of the Hammond Police Department to ensure a more diversified workforce that better reflects our diverse city. Ideas such as a police advisory commission and additional sensitivity training are also being reviewed.
The safety of Hammond’s citizens is my first and most important priority. I continue to have faith in the men and women of the Hammond Police Department and the difficult job they have every day keeping our neighborhoods safe while putting their lives on the line. The discussion that this incident prompted is ongoing and I look forward to continued open communication so that real progress can be made.