For Immediate Release
December 14, 2023
Mayor-Elect Melton announces new police and fire chiefs
Incoming leaders to focus on increasing city safety through collaboration and emergency preparedness
GARY, IN (DECMBER 14, 2023) — Mayor-elect Eddie Melton announced new leadership for City of Gary’s fire and police departments today. Derrick Cannon, Sr., who has served in the city’s police department for 24 years, has been selected to become Chief of Police. Larry Tillman II, an 18-year veteran of Gary Fire Department, has been selected to serve as Fire Chief. Both appointees are Gary natives and will take office in January with the new administration.
After careful consideration and a thorough selection process, Tillman and Cannon were chosen by Melton for their exemplary service history and experience as well as their demonstrated ability to bring people together to make progress and achieve goals.
“We developed our First 100 Days plan and Derrick and Larry will be key leaders in making that plan a reality,” said Melton. “They are going to collaborate across departments and jurisdictions to share information, implement the latest technology and techniques, and reduce response times so that our first responders are equipped to fight fires and fight crime more effectively.”
According to Melton, both appointees will co-chair a new emergency preparedness committee to develop Gary’s first comprehensive emergency response and management plan.
“Given our city’s size and infrastructure, we need to be ready in advance for a disaster or catastrophic event that could occur without warning,” said Melton. “These gentlemen are equipped with the education and experience to produce an excellent plan, including a schedule for drills.”
Cannon has worked in all major service bureaus of the Gary Police Department and once served as deputy chief. He is currently captain of the Uniform Services Bureau and a federal law enforcement task force officer.
“It is an honor to be asked to lead the police department of my hometown,” Cannon said. “I have been serving for a long time, but this is a new way to contribute and I’m looking forward to getting started.”
Tillman is currently the president of the Gary Firefighters Association Local 359, a role in which he has petitioned for better equipment, compensation, and benefits for Gary firefighters and EMTs. He has broad experience in the department, including service as a hazmat tech, EMT, vehicle and machinery rescue tech, certified scuba diver and specialized rescue unit fireman.
“Every great city has great first responders and we have some of the best EMT professionals and firefighters in the Midwest,” said Tillman. “I am ready to take on this role and work with the mayor and Chief Cannon to make our city greater by making it safer.”
Cannon earned undergraduate and graduate degrees from Indiana University Northwest and Tillman studied computer engineering at Purdue University. Both incoming chiefs reside in Gary with their families.
Derrick Cannon, Sr.
Larry Tillman II