Fort Wayne City Police Chief Russell (Rusty) York was born on the north side of Fort Wayne ‘State & Sherman area’ in 1951. He graduated from Central Catholic High School in 1969 and took a job as a City Light apprentice lineman. He said, “Like a lot of us back in the late 60’s, work was plentiful and I took the City Light job just to make some money. As it turned out, it wasn’t what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.” Rusty left the City Light job and joined the Fort Wayne city police force in 1975. He began attending IU and took a couple of courses at a time until he graduated with a degree in Criminal Justice. He was appointed to his current position as Police Chief in January of 2000. His duties cover approximately 100 square miles and include 250,000 residents.
During his tenure he has overseen the implementation of Quadrant-Based Policing, the implementation of an 800 Meg digital communications system and internet-based in-car reporting via mobile and data terminals in all squad cars.
The Chief has also worked with other community leaders to institute the Allen Superior Re-Entry Court and the Fort Wayne Value Based Initiative Program, which have both served as national models.
Rusty recently took a trip to Italy where he had a chance to visit his uncle’s grave at Anzio Beach. Anzio was the invasion spot in Italy where so many young American and allied forces lost their lives.
Rusty said, “It was a very moving experience to look out over row after row of white marble crosses where so many had lost their lives. It made me think of how different the world would be today if not for the heroic efforts of the veterans from the Second World War. In fact, we are all recipients of the veterans from all wars and we continue to be protected by those soldiers that serve today.”
Rusty and his wife Judy have been married for 36 years and they have two adult sons.
Anzio 22 January-24 May 1944
During the early morning hours of 22 January 1944, troops of the Fifth Army swarmed ashore on a fifteen-mile stretch of Italian beach near the prewar resort towns of Anzio and Nettuno. The landings were carried out so flawlessly and German resistance was so light that British and American units gained their first day’s objectives by noon, moving three to four miles inland by nightfall.
The location of the Allied landings, thirty miles south of Rome and fifty-five miles northwest of the main line of resistance running from Minturno on the Tyrrhenian Sea to Ortona on the Adriatic, surprised local German commanders, who had been assured by their superiors that an amphibious assault would not take place during January or February. Thus when the landing occurred the Germans were unprepared to react offensively. Within a week, however, as Allied troops consolidated their positions and prepared to break out of the beachhead, the Germans gathered troops to eliminate what Adolf Hitler called the “Anzio abscess.” The next four months would see some of the most savage fighting of World War II.
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