Before a city can realize its full potential, there are key areas that must be addressed. In Fort Wayne, we must renew our focus on one of these key areas: public safety. Recently, our city has seen a series of violent crimes. A closer look at our challenges reveals some troubling details about the realities we face in securing our downtown and our neighborhoods from the growing threat of crime, especially violent crime.
The current administration occupying Fort Wayne City Hall has eliminated the traffic division.
Since 1999 Fort Wayne’s reserve officer program has been decimated, with the number of reserve police officers dropping from sixty to six.
Fort Wayne’s Vice and Narcotics squad and other drug enforcement officers do not have
the tools necessary to crack down on the drug trade and drug-related crime.
It is important that Fort Wayne addresses what has been a troubling spate of criminal activity. Keeping our streets, neighborhoods, and schools safe is chief among the responsibilities we entrust to local elected officials. We must get the basics right in order to make Fort Wayne all it can be in the coming years.
More Officers on the Streets: The City of Fort Wayne only funds approximately 450 police officers. These public servants are also in need of competitive pay as increases in salary have been limited; even cost of living adjustments. We must add to our police force on local streets, in classrooms, and in our neighborhoods.
Focus on Traffic Stops: Traffic officers’ daily activity is the best way to prevent drug and gun violence. With no traffic enforcement, Fort Wayne’s finest often miss the chance to apprehend criminals.
Restore the Reserve Officer Program: The reserve officer program provides extra manpower on the streets at no cost to the taxpayers. The program allows a first class reserve officer to substitute for officers on duty assignments. The Student Police program must also be restored to allow local young people with an interest in public safety the opportunity to experience elements of public safety work first-hand.
Increase Community Policing: Police officers, working together with communities, is proven to foster an environment where both citizens and those charged with protecting and serving our community can work together to curb violence and other criminal activity. Fort Wayne must get serious about a community policing program that allows local officers to invest in specific communities where they can build relationships that will benefit our families and businesses, and serve to keep ALL of Fort Wayne safe.