In 2010, Hammond's population increased to 80,000, replacing the City of Gary as the most populous city in Lake County. It is located right on Lake Michigan and is part of the Chicago Metropolitan Area.
The first permanent residents of the area arrived in approximately 1847 to settle on the land between the Grand and Little Calumet rivers. These residents were German farmers that had just arrived from Europe looking for opportunity and land. Before their arrival the area was a crossroad for Indian tribes, explorers, stagecoach lines and supply lines to the west. In 1869 George H. Hammond started the Hammond Company, a meat packing plant. By 1873 he was selling $1 million worth of meat a year and by 1875 sales had risen to $2 million per year. The town took on his name as he was considered its most powerful resident.
Hammond is also the home of the second largest police memorial in the state of Indiana. The memorial is made of black granite and consists of three black granite walls which have the names and likenesses of the seven Hammond police officers who have given their lives in the performance of their duties. Its total construction cost was 600 thousand dollars. In honor of the five pointed star on the Hammond police badge, the memorial has at its center five triangular pillars formed into a five pointed star. These pillars also have pictures engraved into them depicting the history of the Hammond Police Department.
A Real Look at a Drug Problem in Hammond
Shawn Nordyke, 29 years old, from Schereville was sent to felony court on burglary charges among other things. He admitted he broke into a Hammond residence on Jan. 9, 2014 with another man and stole jewelry. He then admitted that he also broke into two other Hammond buildings on Nov. 8, 2013 and Nov. 16, 2013 with the intent to steal.
In court he choked back tears as he apologized for his actions and told the judge that he fell into the grips of drug addiction after eight months of using and was quoted as saying "I understand what I did was wrong and I'm sorry." When he was arrested by officers from the Harrison Police Department he fully cooperated and admitted his involvement in crimes the police were not aware he had committed, per the Deputy Prosecutor, Catherine Breitweiser-Hurst. "He was basically seeking help" she said, going on to say that he appeared to have hit rock bottom.
Nordyke was addicted to cocaine and heroin and since being caught has been seeking help to change his life. His parents and siblings attended the sentencing hearing and the defense attorney Alger Boswell noted Nordyke's strong family support.
The Judge sentenced him to an eight year sentence and ordered him to serve one year in a community transition program where he will participate in drug treatment and work. If he complies with the rules there, he may be eligible for a sentence reduction. If however he fails to comply he will go to the Indiana Department of Correction.
Drugs like cocaine and heroin turn many people to crime as they run out of funds and will do almost anything to get the money they need to get their hands on more drugs.
A Closer Look at the Prescription Epidemic in Hammond
Two nurse practitioners have been charged with more than 40 felony counts between them for allegedly handing out prescriptions without the proper licensing. Both of their medical licenses have now been suspended by an emergency order from the Indiana State Board of Nursing.
Court document filed on Feb. 4 indicate that they were allegedly phoning in prescriptions for controlled substances, or directing her staff to, using the drug licensure and registration of another doctor who had not given her permission. The Indiana Attorney General's Officer stated that the nursing board voted to suspend their licenses for 90 days while the attorney general's office completes the licensing complaint filings. At that point the board will determine what further disciplinary action will be done.
The license suspension is a separate action from the criminal charges and even if the board decides to allow them to keep their licenses they may still face jail time as will be decided by the courts. The original search warrant was executed by the Indiana State Police and the DEA after pharmacies in Porter and Starke counties contacted the police to complain that the defendants were prescribing phendimetrazine and phentermine without the proper authority.
It is currently believed that they wrote approximately 2,048 illegal prescriptions in the name of their collaborating physician. Only physicians may prescribe controlled substances, in order for a nurse to prescribe they must be licensed with the state as an Advanced Practice Nurse and hold an Indiana Controlled Substance Registration and an active registration with the DEA. At the time of the investigation neither of the defendants held the required registrations.
As prescription drug abuse grows to be one of the largest drug problems in the state, efforts are being made to find the source of the drugs hitting the streets. It is unknown if the illegal prescriptions being written here where to people that were using it for themselves or moving it onto the streets, but the catch is still considered a victory either way.
Hammond Drug Rehab
Currently Hammond only has one drug rehab center. This center deals only in outpatient care, but does offer special program for adolescents and teens as well as programs for people who have been giving a DUI or DWI. They do not accept medicare or medicaid, but private insurance is accepted. For self-payment options, they also offer sliding fee scales and payment assistance that can change the cost of the program based on your income and other factors.
If the program available in Hammond is not workable for the addict you are looking to find help for, there are many other centers available throughout the state of Indiana.