Statement as issued Friday by the city of Fort Wayne:
February 14, 2014 – Today, Chief of Police Garry Hamilton joined County, State, and Federal law enforcement agencies in announcing the creation of a Gang and Violent Crimes Unit to combat gang violence in Fort Wayne.
The goal of the Unit is to reduce the number of violent crimes, especially murders committed by gangs. The unit is an integral component of Mayor Tom Henry’s pledge to make Fort Wayne as safe as possible for residents and businesses.
“Now more than ever, we’re focused on reversing the trend of violence in our community,” said Mayor Henry. “I applaud the efforts of the Fort Wayne Police Department and our law enforcement partners for being committed to reducing crime. By working together, we can make a difference. Public safety is critical to any thriving City, and we know that we must be a place where residents and businesses feel safe.”
The strategy is to address the relatively small number of people who are locked in various group dynamics on the streets, and who are responsible for an overwhelming majority of violent crimes.
The Unit’s duties will include uniform street-level enforcement of all crimes, assisting patrol officers and detectives by providing them with timely information on criminal gang activity and known gang members.
“Our message is simple. Our community is demanding that the shootings stop,” said Chief Hamilton. “We’re also making it known that there is help for those at risk and involved in group violence if they want it, and we are willing to assist them in getting that help. The creation of this Gang and Violent Crimes Unit is going to improve our ability to hold these gangs and groups accountable for murders their members commit. The rules have changed.”
The Gang Unit has been created within the ranks of the Fort Wayne Police Department with significant support from other County, State, and Federal law enforcement agencies. They will be deployed during morning, afternoon and mid-shift hours ensuring an overlapping of their resources on the streets.
The following agencies have pledged to dedicate resources to start and maintain the Gang Unit:
*Fort Wayne Police Department 3-Supervisors, 12-Officers
*Allen County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office
*Allen County Sheriff’s Department
*Indiana State Police 1-Trooper
*United States Attorney’s Office
*Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
*Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF)
*Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
*United States Marshals Service (USMS)
Citizens wishing to report gang activity can do so anonymously by calling 427-1262 or visiting the Fort Wayne Police Department’s web site at www.fwpd.org and clicking on the link located in the upper right hand corner.