Waynedale Political Commentaries


I recently joined leaders of the Fort Wayne Fire Department to welcome the 17 members of the department’s 88th recruit class.

The recruits have begun a 16-week process to become firefighters for the City of Fort Wayne. The anticipated graduation date is May 13.

Breakdown of the new recruit class:
12 Caucasian males
2 Caucasian females
2 Hispanic/Latino males
1 African American male

To continue the City’s commitment to public safety, the 89th recruit class of the Fort Wayne Fire Department will begin this summer and is expected to have 25 members. In total, the fire department will be adding 42 firefighters.

The additional firefighters will enhance the fire department’s level of service by ensuring four firefighters are on a fire apparatus at all times and fill positions that are vacated through anticipated and unanticipated retirements.

Ten of the new firefighters are a result of the City of Fort Wayne receiving a $1.4 million Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Grant from the federal government. The grant received by the City will cover salaries and benefits for 10 of the new firefighters for two years.

Over the last several years, the City has grown from 65 square miles to more than 110 square miles. The Fort Wayne Fire Department is responsible for the second largest land mass in Indiana as well as infrastructure critical to the entire region. Adding firefighters will result in optimal response and protection capabilities during the more than 18,000 runs encountered annually by the department.

I also had the chance to join Police Chief Garry Hamilton to announce the Fort Wayne Police Department’s hiring initiative to add 26 new police officers in 2017.

The application process is available at www.fwpd.org. The application deadline is April 1.

Written and fitness exams are anticipated to occur in the May-June 2016 time frame. The scheduled starting date for the 62nd Recruit Class of the Fort Wayne Police Department is January 2017, with graduation scheduled for summer 2017. All new officers will experience six months of supervised assistance before being released to solo patrol.

The Fort Wayne Police Department currently has 445 officers. In 2014, the department added 15 officers, and in 2015, 21 new officers began service with the City.

Nothing is more important than the safety of our residents. We work each day to ensure our community is as safe as possible. We have an outstanding fire department and police department committed to being the best. We’re fortunate to be in position to add new firefighters and police officers as we continue to move our City in the right direction.

Tom Henry - Fort Wayne Mayor

A lifelong Fort Wayne resident, Mayor Thomas C. Henry is committed to public and community service. He was elected to his first term as Fort Wayne's Mayor November 6, 2007. Mayor Henry authors the "Message from the Mayor" column. > Read Full Biography > More Articles Written By This Writer