Leaders from Fort Wayne’s police and fire departments joined with the mayor in an annual update about public safety Tuesday.

Police responded to more than 153,000 calls in 2018. Overall, crime was down 15% compared to 2017, but violent crimes were up 8%. 

“We’re trying to cover all of the bases,” Mayor Tom Henry told WANE 15 News. “We understand that things are constantly changing. Things are constantly in flux when it comes to criminal activity, but we’re trying to stay on top of it. I think Fort Wayne is an extremely safe city. Our crime rates are lower than the national average and that’s certainly where we want to be.”

A record amount of drugs were picked off the streets and illegal gun arrests were up more than 25%.

“There are just so many guns out there in the hands of the wrong people,” Police Chief Steve Reed said. “When I say that, I’m talking about the criminal element, not lawful gun owners. I support that. But as noted, the 28% increase, in arrests for people in possession of an illegal hand gun says something. It says also our officers are out there working hard to get those guns off the street.”

The department is adding two new recruit classes in 2019, as is the fire department.

Firefighters responded to 24,000 calls for service last year.

“We’re renewing our committment that’s always been there… our mission to save lives and we’re doing that through investments in personnel and technology and then training that personnel on that technology.”

Information for the police hiring process can be found here: http://www.fwpd.org/careers/

Information for the fire hiring process can be found here: http://www.fortwaynefiredepartment.org/54-division/career-opportunities