Ever wonder why the city of Gary Indiana (the frequent murder capital of the world) is so screwed up?
This frosts me. I’m a veteran of almost fifteen years service, and There is absolutely no excuse for THIS:
Gary police not ‘invited’ to soldier’s return
GARY — Dignity and protocol surrounded the arrival last month of Hammond native Cpl. Joseph M. Hernandez, the first fallen soldier to land at the Gary/Chicago International Airport in many years.Behind the scenes, a Munster funeral director and a sergeant in the U.S. Army devoted hours of planning before the plane landed, dealing with the family’s wishes and offers from the area groups wishing to show their respect.
“A lot of local organizations want to be involved, the American Legion and VFW, Patriot Guard. When a serviceman dies, a lot of people want to help,” Kevin Kish of Kish Funeral Home in Munster said last week.
Police from “Lake County, Hammond, Munster, several local law enforcement agencies provided an escort to and from the airport,” Kish said.
But Gary police were absent. No Gary squad cars were on hand to stop traffic on U.S. 12 at the airport entrance or any other intersections along the route.
Chief Reggie Harris said his department wasn’t formally invited to participate and “because the soldier was not a Gary resident and the funeral home was not in Gary, Gary (police) would have to be asked to assist.”
A soldier who assisted in the funeral arrangements said Gary officials should have sent someone to the airport. “The National Guard spent $50 million on a new facility there. We pour all this money in, but then they don’t make a showing when a soldier is killed,” the soldier, who asked not to be identified, said Friday.
Harris said he learned of the landing from a patrol officer on Jan. 15, the day Hernandez’s body was scheduled to arrive. Patrolman Joseph Hamer “came upstairs and said the funeral home contacted him,” Harris said. Hamer, a member of the Indiana Fraternal Order of Police critical incident team, has assisted with funeral services for fallen officers throughout the state.
The chief said anyone requesting help with the procession should have called his office.
Harris said he was respecting the privacy of the soldier’s family and did not want to intrude on their grief.
Harris and Cmdr. Richard Allen said the department would have been pleased to send squad cars if they had been asked.
“We plan to meet with the National Guard at the airport in the future to find out what we need to do,” Allen said.
I’m sorry, Chief Harris, but exactly which part of your grossly rotund anatomy were we supposed to kiss before you acknowledged our presence, let alone the family’s need?
And please – make up better lies next time. Your department was contacted by both the funeral home as well as a representative of the Indiana FOP. Were you really so concerned for the family’s privacy, or were you just pissed off that they didn’t call your office specifically?
Pick One and stick with that.
Your lack of assistance to a fallen member of the military is reprehensible — Reprehensible. Escorts and traffic detail for funerals is a readily-recognized courtesy done even for civilians – let alone the military. Off-duty officers from “Lake County, Hammond, Munster, several local law enforcement agencies” managed to get to this escort duty on their off-time. How did THEY know about the soldier arriving?
They probably read about it in the newspaper, Chief. You can’t pick up a paper? It was a HUGE story in the Post Tribune for a week before he arrived home!
Feel free to resign immediately. If something as simple, as basic, as elementary as funeral escorts escapes you, one has to wonder what else you’re screwing up.
Cross Posted at Porter County Politics.