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Fort Wayne Outlines Public Safety Goals For 2019

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Mayor Tom Henry and the City of Fort Wayne outlined public safety plans and goals for 2019 in an annual news conference with the Fort Wayne Police and Fire Departments Tuesday morning.

The police department will receive resources for the vice and narcotics and homicide units, following an eight percent increase in violent crime and record seizures of heroin, meth and marijuana through 2018. The city’s total crime rate dropped 15 percent from last year.

Kevin Hunter is the captain of the police department’s vice and narcotics division. He says the additional resources should be a major help in the long-term effort to bring the numbers down.

“We’ll have a sole purpose canine assigned to us on a full-time basis. We’ll also have another narcotics detective assigned to our division, along with another gang unit detective,” said Hunter.

The unit also seized 700 guns, 50 more than in 2018.

The fire department also touted its progress over the last year, highlighting the addition of 26 Advanced Life Support staffers and response to 24,000 service calls. In 2019, the department hopes to hire more life support personnel and plans to request a grant that would allow the free installation of 2,000 smoke detectors across Fort Wayne.

The full rundown of plans for each department, as outlined by the City of Fort Wayne:

FW Police Department Plans for 2019

  • The FWPD’s 64th recruit class and 20th Lateral Class will be held in 2019. The new officers will help offset known retirements and bring the FWPD staffing level to more than 480 officers by the end of the year.
  • Continuation of the FWPD’s partnership with Fort Wayne UNITED’s TenPoint Coalition, a program implemented last fall 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.
  • Adding resources to the Vice & Narcotics Division to address drug issues.
  • Adding resources to the Homicide Unit to address violent crimes.
  • Growing the Downtown Patrol by increasing the number of bike patrol officers. Officers will also be patrolling year-round.
  • Vice & Narcotics Division Commanders will increase their focus on known violent offenders throughout the City.
  • Quadrant Commanders will begin joint enforcement efforts with other City agencies in addressing issues in high crime areas.
  • The new K9 training facility is expected to be complete in November. The simulated two bedroom home will be used to advance the training of dogs in a more realistic home environment.
  • A New Incident Command Vehicle will be ready for service in late January.

FW Fire Department Plans for 2019

  • Eighteen new firefighters will begin training for the 91st recruit class and the hiring process for the 92nd recruit class will begin.
  • The FWFD will graduate another nineteen Advanced Life Support personnel and another eighteen will begin training.
  • The FWFD will request a grant for 2,000 smoke detectors which will be offered and installed for free throughout the community.
  • A new technical rescue vehicle will go into service and two new replacement engines will be purchased to better serve and protect residents and businesses.
  • The FWFD Records Management System will be updated to improve data gathering to communicate vital patient information to receiving hospital.
Zach joined 89.1 WBOI as a reporter and local host for All Things Considered. He currently hosts Morning Edition.
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