(Photo Courtesy of the Hammond Police Department)
It has only been around since August, but since then the STOPS Team, a full-time task force with police officers from East Chicago, Gary, Hammond, Lake County and part-time officers from other Lake County communities, have made a dramatic impact according to Hammond Police Chief Brian Miller.
On Tuesday night, the STOPS Team arrested two previously convicted felons, carrying handguns with extended magazines. Chief Miller says these subjects were affiliated with a criminal gang and they are testing the bullets to see if they match any homicides or shootings. Since its inception, the STOPS Team has confiscated numerous guns and drugs and was responsible for the arrest of the Hessville cell-phone bandits. Chief Miller says the task force was the idea of East Chicago Police Chief Mark Becker and that it has created permanent friendships among officers from different departments. The STOPS team works primarily in East Chicago, Gary, Hammond and in the suburbs.