(CBS) — Following a couple of violent months that included the killing of a police officer, the city of Gary has announced a new police chief and crime-fighting strategy, reports WBBM’s Nancy Harty.

Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson says the violence that has claimed the lives of Gary Police officer Jeffrey Westerfield and several others in the past few months is a seemingly intractable issue.

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“Today, I am declaring that there is nothing normal, acceptable, or usual about these occurrences or behavior,” she said.

Freeman-Wilson announced the appointment Larry McKinkley as the city’s new police chief and a plan to target offenders.

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McKinley says understands he is facing a tremendous challenge.

“But I realize, that without a challenge, you cannot grow,” he said.

McKinley says members of the department will get bonuses and the city will hire 14 new officers. He has served with the Gary Police Department for 15 years, including as a deputy chief to former chief Wade Ingram. Freeman-Wilson says Ingram resigned last week.

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Retired Gary Police Captain Tom Papadakis will serve as deputy chief. Papadakis served in the Gary Police Department for 34 years prior to his retirement in 2011.