For his extensive work in the community, Deputy Chief of the Southeast Division, Mitch McKinney has been named the 2022 recipient of the Linda & Jerry Vandeveer Impact Award.
The award was presented last week by the Allen County Board of Commissioners along with the award’s namesake, Jerry Vandeveer, during a ceremony held at Citizen Square.
In September 2016, the Allen County Commissioners created the award to present annually to an individual or individuals who reside in Allen County and who have lived a life of service to our community outside of their regular profession in the example and tradition set by Linda and Jerry Vandeveer.
Deputy Chief McKinney has poured time and energy into working with Allen County youth. He has been on the Franke Park Day Camp Committee since 1997, sat on the board of the Fort Wayne Ballet, Fort Wayne Children’s Choir, McMillan Health, and Mom or an Addict. In 2017, he helped organize the “Blue Bucket Brigade” which connected local police officers with children from the Boys & Girls Club. The children and officers work together to collect funds at Komet Hockey games, share dialogue and bridge gaps between law enforcement and youth, and run public safety youth camps.
In addition to working to support local youth, McKinney is committed to first responders and public servants in law enforcement. He sat on the board of the Indiana State Lodge, Fraternal Order of Police (“FOP”), from 2016—2022. Current president William Owensby shared, “If I could summarize Mitch in one word, it would be ‘service’.” McKinney currently serves as the President of the FOP Wayne Lodge 14, as he has since 2009. In 2017, he founded and is the Executive Director of “Leaving a Living Legacy, Inc.’ He is a three-term Board Member of the Law Enforcement/Firefighters Memorial.
Deputy Chief McKinney received a personal plaque, and his name was inscribed on a permanent plaque that hangs in the commissioners’ office. He also received a check for $550 from an anonymous donor presented by Fire-Police City-County Federal Credit Union, which he donated to the maintenance of the Law Enforcement/ Firefighters Memorial.