Saturday, December 02, 2017 1:00 am
Deal council's doom
I am sure someone in the city has some swamp land to sell. Now is the time to sell, as City Council votes for the worst possible contracts. Remember the five members who voted for this mess; vote them out. At the ballot box, remember that Paul Ensley, Tom Didier, Geoff Paddock, Tom Friestroffer and John Crawford don't care about bad deals for the taxpayers.
Additional police needed for growth
The Fort Wayne Police Department is doing great things for the city. This city is continuing to grow, and its agencies must grow as well. The FWPD consists of 452 officers, serving a population of about 264,500. That comes out to a ratio of one police officer for about 585 citizens. When considering all three shifts that must be covered, and that officers take vacation time or sick days, work at a desk or take early retirement, the FWPD is in need of at least 50 more officers for a force of more than 500.
Statistics show overall crime in Fort Wayne higher than the national median, with one in 27 people becoming a victim. Murder, robbery, burglary and theft rates are higher in Fort Wayne than on a national scale. The overall crime rate in Fort Wayne is 34 percent higher than the national average. These statistics indicate a basic need for more police officers.
Fort Wayne is a big city but has the vibe of a small town. With less on their plate, policemen and policewomen can feel more comfortable getting out of their squad cars, walking around neighborhoods and getting to know the families and children of this city. A force whose officers actively engage with the public is a successful police force.
The focus of hiring more officers should be adding more women and minorities to the FWPD. With more diversity, people can feel represented by the authorities who serve them. Police fairness is perceived more favorably with a diverse police department. Especially in Fort Wayne, Spanish-speaking bilingual officers would be incredibly beneficial. With an adequately staffed police department, the necessary authorities can feel more at ease allowing time off for officers to de-stress, and suspending officers who have been involved in misconduct.
Fort Wayne recently received $875,000 from the federal government to add more officers. This grant will financially cover seven of the 25 recruits in the class for this coming February. However, the FWPD expects a minimum of 15 officers to retire next year. This grant is an excellent initiative to continue building the FWPD but is simply not enough. Perhaps with more voices calling out from the community, the coming years will see grants double and triple the amount of this one, with the ability to add more officers to keep Fort Wayne safe and thriving.
CHEERS to all those who stopped in already-snarled traffic on Dupont Road Tuesday afternoon for the loose dog. My dog opened the gate and escaped. Thankfully, he jumped in my car safe and sound. There are so many good people out there.