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Police Reforms In Fort Wayne May Have Bipartisan Support

Rebecca Green/WBOI News

Last week, Fort Wayne City Council met with police chief Steve Reed to discuss the police response to demonstrations in downtown Fort Wayne at the end of May. While movement on any legislation is projected to take six-to-eight weeks, reforms to the police department could receive bipartisan support.

Second District Republican Russ Jehl expressed his support for proposals that would “improve race relations and the ability to administer law and order and justice.” He specifically highlighted a need to reform accountability for officers, and that the proposal of a “citizens review board” is a good step.

He noted a particular need for city officers to utilize body cameras on the job.

“We've been promised body cameras as a city council for six years now. It's well past time, and I don't see any scenario where I will vote for another budget without body cameras in the budget,” said Jehl.

The 2021 fiscal year budget will be introduced in September; members of Council have repeatedly noted it will likely include “difficult decisions” as a result of the unexpected COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

Zach joined 89.1 WBOI as a reporter and local host for All Things Considered. He currently hosts Morning Edition.
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