FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – After a turbulent 2020, the Fort Wayne Police Department is setting it’s goals for the new year. Number one on their list is community relations.
Although the force’s leaders say they’ve been invested in communities for at least seven years, the unrest that followed the George Floyd protests only deepened their commitment to it.
“We’re trying to build those community relations so we can be better in policing in general because we know there’s a direct correlation to community trust and solving homicides, thefts, burglaries, those kinds of things,” said FWPD spokeswoman Sofia Rosales-Scatena. “When the community trusts us as a department, they are more apt to help us. We know building those bridges is going to be priority number one, but number two is getting in there and solving those crimes.”
Another FWPD priorty is to lessen the number of infants that die from co-sleeping with parents. A child died in this manner on Christmas Day 2020 and police were called to the scene.
“That’s really tough,” Rosales-Scatena said. “Not only for families, but for officers as well. If it’s something we can prevent, we’re going to work harder to do that. A lot of our officers have young infant children, and it just weighs hard on their minds and hearts when things like this happen, particularly on those special holidays. it’s hard any day but on those holidays where it’s just family oriented, it’s particularly difficult not only for that family, but officers as well.”
A third goal of the force is to increase from about 470 officers to 490.