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Two IUPD-NW officers commended by Rep. Visclosky for going beyond call of duty

Campbell, James among 24 Gary SWAT Team members recognized for their roles in November standoff


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Emily Banas
Office of Marketing and Communications

Erika Rose
Office of Marketing and Communications

Sgt. Wayne James and Officer 2nd Class Brandon Campbell of the Indiana University Police Department – Northwest (IUPD-NW) received commendation letters from U.S. Congressman Pete Visclosky for their actions during a November 2011 standoff in Gary, which led to a peaceful resolution.

The IUPD-NW officers were among 24 members of the Gary SWAT team, called out the day after Thanksgiving to a residence in which a man had barricaded himself after shooting at a neighbor. The team was held at bay in the cold for 23 hours as they tried to apprehend the man who was armed and dangerous, according to James.

James and Campbell were both on the entry team, charged with the dangerous task of gaining entrance into the house despite being shot at by the man.

“We managed to work through fatigue. We did a good job of keeping eyes on the house and rotating, trying to give each other breaks. It was definitely a big team effort,” Campbell said.

The letter the officers received said, “Your commitment to improving the quality of life and ensuring public safety for the community is truly inspirational and should be recognized and commended.”

James said the letter will be framed and hung on his office wall.

“When you go into the job, you don’t go into it to be rewarded, but when you receive a commendation from (Rep.) Pete Visclosky, that is pretty excellent. That means a lot to me,” James said. “It kind of gives you motivation to keep doing what you are doing. In law enforcement . . . you could go on a hundred calls and never receive a scratch, but you could go on one call and that could be your last call.”

“It was one of the longest standoffs in the city’s history,” Campbell said. “The fact that it ended peacefully is probably one of the best things about it, especially considering the circumstances.”

Becoming a SWAT officer, James said, requires rigorous training and the utmost in teamwork.

“My team put trust in me to reach that door and I (have) enough trust in them that once that door is open, I know they are going to take care of whatever is coming after that,” James said.

Campbell said both he and James have been with the team for about three years.

Officer 3rd Class Nathan Dover is another IUPD-NW officer who also serves on the Gary SWAT Team, but was not present at the standoff. IUPD-NW Chief Patricia Nowak said that having three officers serving the department who are also SWAT-trained is quite an asset to the campus.

“This commendation for Sgt. James and Officer Campbell is very deserving,” Nowak said. “The officers on the SWAT team are part of a cooperative effort between the Gary Police Department and IU Northwest, led by Commander Anthony Stanley of the Gary Police Department.”

“This partnership allows IU Northwest additional resources, training, and personnel to continue to keep IU Northwest and our community safe.”