Steve Reed will take over as chief of the Fort Wayne Police Department on Aug. 1, Mayor Tom Henry announced Thursday.
Replacing outgoing Chief Garry Hamilton, Reed has been a part of the department since 1993, serving as assistant police chief since January 2014. Reed has also served as director of training at the Fort Wayne Police Academy, deputy chief of the southwest division, captain of the investigative division, sergeant of internal affairs, homicide team sergeant and detective.
Reed also served as a patrol officer for the Butler City Police Department and a confinement officer for the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department before joining the FWPD.
"Steve is a true professional and a man of integrity who is ready for this leadership position," Henry said. "He has been with the FWPD for 23 years, he has strong communications skills and has the respect of the men and women of the FWPD."
Reed holds an associate degree from Vincennes University and is a graduate of the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy.
Director of Public Safety Rusty York echoed Henry’s statement, adding that officials are excited for Reed to take over.
"(Reed) is not only highly respected within the FWPD but also throughout the criminal justice system in not only Allen County but in the state of Indiana," York said.
Under Reed, the department will give quadrant commanders more resources to combat crime and be proactive in its policing; expand the use of crime analysis to locate areas where crime is concentrated, the types of crimes being committed and other information to craft effective responses; and enhance intelligence gathering through partnerships with local representatives of federal law enforcement agencies.
The department will also aim to improve community relations through outreach programs, a revamped website and more focus on social media efforts.
After stepping down as chief, Hamilton will serve as deputy chief of the northeast division and will head the department’s new community relations division. Hamilton noted that after he made the decision to step down as chief, he recommended that Reed be considered as his replacement.
"Steve is dedicated. He’s really dedicated to the job and the community, and him and I share the same values. We can communicate about social issues, about racial issues, the makeup of the department and the need to have diversity in the police department, and he gets it," Hamilton said. "I consider Steve like a brother, somebody you can put your confidence in."
Speaking to reporters after the announcement, Reed said in light of recent violence in Fort Wayne, residents need to help police investigations. Two persons of interest identified in connection with two recent shootings came as a result of community members stepping forward, Reed said.
"We need the community’s help. We see what happens when people come forward … When we have cooperation, we can solve these crimes," Reed said.
Reed will be sworn in at an official ceremony at 10 a.m. Aug. 1 in the council courtroom on the garden level of Citizens Square.