FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – As part of an ongoing push to bring new officers to the Fort Wayne Police Department, Chief Steve Reed welcomed two new officers for the department’s 22nd lateral class on Monday morning.
Both officers that were sworn in had previously served with another department. Officer Logan Baker previously served in DeKalb County while Officer Garrett Cornman last worked with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. Both have ties to the Midwest; Baker was raised in Fort Wayne while Cornman grew up in Illinois.
This morning, the Fort Wayne Police Department welcomed two new lateral officers to our community. @MayorTomHenry and Police Chief Steve Reed joined City Clerk Lana Keesling to swear in officers Logan Baker and Garrett Cornman. pic.twitter.com/KlWm3GsLfE— Fort Wayne, Indiana (@CityofFortWayne) October 25, 2021
FWPD Chief Steve Reed says the lateral class is part of the department’s ongoing efforts to bring in a mix of lateral and basic recruits. Between two to 10 lateral officers have been sworn in in recent years, according to Chief Reed.
Like other departments nationwide, recruiting new police officers has been a challenge for the FWPD. However, Chief Reed is optimistic that added incentives like a restructured recruitment team and higher starting pay could incentivize those to seek a career in law enforcement.
“Our new recruitment team has done a fantastic job in getting applications in, getting people to the testing site, and getting through the process,” Chief Reed said.
Chief Reed also anticipates a 30-member class for the next recruit academy in early 2022. He believes
“That was a true representation of our city,” Chief Reed said. “That’s what we want to push for. Obviously we want to get the best person for the job, regardless of gender or race, but we want to strive to make our department look like our city.”
Chief Reed aims to have 485 officers on the department by next year, which is five more than the previous year’s allotment.