FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) What can the city of Fort Wayne expect in 2017?
Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry on Monday addressed the Rotary Club of Fort Wayne to discuss updates and insights into city initiatives.
Henry’s No. 1 concern: Public safety.
In his talk, Henry blamed guns, drugs and gangs for last year’s record homicide rate, and said his first solution is to add about 30 officers to the Fort Wayne Police Department. The mayor also said he plans to expand the department’s detective bureau and all the community task forces that deal with crime.
The city will also increase its presence on social media, Henry said, pushing a belief that if the entire community engages online, the probability of crime will go down.
Henry also said the city’s economic development picture is strong, but told the club he wants the momentum to grow even stronger. The mayor told the Rotary Club that he gets criticized for investing too much in downtown, but rebutted that city will ultimately not exist if there’s nothing attractive downtown.
All things considered, Henry said the city is on solid footing.
“I think we have a great amount of hope for our community because of the foundation we’ve set, I think people can really say to themselves, there’s a great amount of hope for the city of Fort Wayne,” Henry said.
Henry also discussed the city’s infrastructure, park system, and neighborhood development.
The mayor’s annual address to the Rotary Club often serves as a sneak peek into his State of the City address, typically presented in early February.