The following is a release from the city of Fort Wayne
FORT WAYNE, Ind. — Mayor Tom Henry and Police Chief Steve Reed today outlined proactive efforts designed to address public safety issues in the City of Fort Wayne.
Fort Wayne and cities across the country are experiencing increases in homicides, shootings and drug overdoses. As a result, the Fort Wayne Police Department continues to adjust public safety practices and work with the community to address these challenges.
*January 23 marks the start of the next academy class for the Fort Wayne Police Department to hire 28 new police officers. The additions will allow the FWPD to have more than 460 officers patrolling City streets to protect the public.
*Additional resources to the Gang and Violent Crimes Unit
*Additional resources to the Vice and Narcotics Unit
*Creation of a Street Crimes Unit to address thefts and burglaries
*Continue positive working relationships with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies
*Increase public outreach by connecting with community leaders and neighborhood associations and walking areas that have seen an increase in criminal activity to talk to residents. In addition, the FWPD will continue to offer use of force training to the public in an effort to provide education on the difficult situations faced by law enforcement.
*Partnership with Fort Wayne Community Schools to engage with at-risk children
*Work with the Fort Wayne-Allen County Department of Health, Allen County Sheriff’s Department and Indiana General Assembly to address the opioid crisis
*Begin recruitment efforts for an academy class that would begin in 2018, with the application process starting this spring
*Continuation of Fort Wayne UNITED, a mayoral initiative designed to enhance opportunities, advance youth advocacy and help ensure the safety of all residents with a focus on black men and boys. An emphasis is placed on listening, input, letting voices be heard and engagement. The vision is for every black male in Fort Wayne to be respected and valued with an opportunity to reach their full potential.
“We recognize we have challenges with violence, guns, gangs and drugs. That combination has no place in Fort Wayne and it needs to stop,” said Mayor Henry. “There isn’t a simple solution, but with a collective commitment to implementing proactive public safety strategies and doing what’s right for our community, we’re going to move in the right direction.”
“The level of violence that we were witness to last year is a clear indication that the challenges we face are great, but we recognize the many factors driving this madness,” said Chief Reed. “I can tell you this, it is not in the DNA of our community to idly sit back and accept it as the new norm. The men and women of the Fort Wayne Police Department, county, state and federal law enforcement agencies will collectively engage those individuals and take them to task.”
City leaders were joined by partners from local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, the Fort Wayne-Allen County Department of Health, Fort Wayne Community Schools and Fort Wayne UNITED.