I recently joined Police Chief Steve Reed to provide a public safety recap of 2017 and highlight efforts designed to make the City of Fort Wayne as safe as possible.
Data from 2017:
*Overall crime was down 5 percent
*Officers responded to over 157,000 calls for service
*The FWPD’s 62nd recruit class graduated along with the 18th lateral class putting 33 new officers on the street to serve and protect the City
*Homicides decreased by nearly 14 percent
*Robberies decreased by 27 percent
*Burglaries were down nearly 23 percent
*Vice and narcotics-related arrests were up 87 percent (913 compared to 486 in 2016)
*Drug raids were up 53 percent (103 compared to 67 in 2016)
*Adult arrests were up 7.9 percent
*Juvenile arrests decreased by 8 percent
*Non-fatal shootings were down by 20 percent
*Human trafficking was down 50 percent
*Rape/sexual assaults increased by 43 percent
*Vehicle thefts were up by 28.5 percent
*Arsons increased by 38 percent
*The FWPD’s 63rd recruit class will include 28 officers. The first day of class is February 5. The new officers will help offset known retirements and bring the FWPD staffing level to more than 470 officers by the end of the year.
*Continuation of the FWPD’s partnership with Fort Wayne UNITED, a mayoral initiative designed to enhance opportunities, advance youth advocacy and help ensure the safety of all residents with a focus on black men and boys. An emphasis is placed on listening, input, letting voices be heard and engagement.
*Collaboration in addressing the opioid epidemic through education, treatment and enforcement. The FWPD will continue proactive efforts with the Fort Wayne-Allen County Department of Health, Allen County Sheriff’s Department and Indiana General Assembly.
*Continuation of the Gang and Violent Crimes Unit, Vice and Narcotics Unit and Street Crimes Unit. All three units have assisted in increasing the number of arrests related to vice and narcotics and drug raids and the reduction in robberies and burglaries.
*Enhance public outreach and communication by connecting with residents, neighborhood associations and community leaders. In addition, the FWPD will continue to offer use of force training to the public in an effort to provide education on the difficult situations faced by law enforcement.
*Continue positive working relationships with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies.
Public safety is a top priority as we work together to ensure Fort Wayne is a safe community for residents and businesses. I’m encouraged by the best practices we’ve implemented, but I also recognize we have challenges with too many homicides resulting from guns, gangs and drugs. We must commit ourselves to making meaningful and lasting changes to enhance Fort Wayne.
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