The Journal Gazette
 
 
Tuesday, January 19, 2021 11:38 am

Verbatim: Public safety at forefront in City of Fort Wayne as leaders recap 2020 and look ahead to 2021

Mayor and public safety chiefs highlight proactive efforts as COVID-19 response continues

The following was released on Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021:

Fort Wayne, Ind. – Mayor Tom Henry, Police Chief Steve Reed and Fire Chief Eric Lahey today provided a public safety recap of 2020 and highlighted plans for 2021 that are designed to continue making the City of Fort Wayne as safe as possible while a pandemic still challenges our city.

Fort Wayne Police Department Data and Highlights from 2020: 

*The FWPD’s 65th recruit class graduated, putting 17 new officers on the street. 

*The FWPD has completed a total of over 41,331 hours of training in 2020. 

*Officers responded to over 137,000 calls for service. 

*Overall crime went down 13% from 2019. 

*Violent crime was up in 2020 with more homicides in 2020 than in 2019. Homicides had a clearance rate of 81% in 2020. 

*Over 700 firearms were seized, with the Gang & Violent Crimes Unit seizing 146 of those illegal firearms during their investigations. 

*The Gang & Violent Crimes Unit conducted 22 search warrant/raid operations. 

*Additional resources were added to the Homicide Unit to address violent crimes. 

*The Downtown Bike Patrol received 3 new electric assist bikes to aid in patrol. 

*The new Special Operations building was put into service. 

*A new Investigative Operations Center was created to assist with homicide investigations, missing persons and any other critical incidents. 

*A new explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) robot was received to assist with suspicious packages or known explosives, such as bombs.

 

FWPD Plans for 2021:

*The FWPD’s 21st Lateral Class will be held to help maintain a staffing level of 480 officers.

*Plans are in place to expand FWPD’s partnership with Fort Wayne UNITED’s TenPoint Coalition, a program that focuses on addressing youth gun violence as well as improving the conditions and the quality of life for residents in the areas of education, health, and housing. 

*There will be continued joint enforcement efforts with the Indiana State Police, Allen County Sheriff’s Office and Federal partners to address violent crime. 

*Two social workers will be added to the Hope and Recover Team (HART), which connects adults who have experienced a nonfatal overdose with treatment and recovery services. 

*At least 100 more body cameras will be added to the FWPD.

 

Fort Wayne Fire Department Data and Highlights from 2020: 

*The FWFD responded to over 23,000 calls for service. 

*The FWFD completed over 82,000 hours of training. 

*Four new replacement engines were placed into service. 

*Four new Thermal Imaging Cameras were placed into service.

 

FWFD Plans for 2021: 

*Two more replacement engines will be placed into service. 

*The 92nd recruit class will begin. 

*Construction will be completed on the next phase of the FWFD Live Burn Center. 

*FWFD employees will participate in the United Front Initiative.

 

"We can't succeed as a city unless we provide residents, neighborhoods, and businesses with the best possible public safety services," said Mayor Henry. "We want the public to feel and be safe. It's one of the most important things we do as we want the public to have the comfort of knowing they live in a safe city. I'm proud of the accomplishments of the Fort Wayne Police and Fire departments while also recognizing we have work ahead of us to meet our ambitious goals and objectives."

“The Fort Wayne Police Department is dedicated to meeting the safety needs of our community, and in this challenging year of a pandemic and civil unrest, I’m proud of how extremely hard our entire Department worked to fulfill that commitment,” said Police Chief Reed. “We also continue to be dedicated to growing and learning with our community so that our residents, and members of the FWPD, can always feel safe and proud to live and raise their families here.”

“The FWFD maintains our same level of efficient, quality service with compassion and professionalism, even as we continue to face the challenges of a pandemic,” said Fire Chief Lahey. “The men and women of the Fort Wayne Fire Department are dedicated to the mission of saving lives.”


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