City of Fort Wayne news release:
Mayor Henry announces “Moving Forward Together” action plan to address public safety and racial justice
Commission on Police Reform and Racial Justice established as part of next steps
(June 18, 2020) – Mayor Tom Henry today announced the “Moving Forward Together” action plan designed to bring the community together following recent protests and demonstrations in the City of Fort Wayne. The action plan will focus on public safety and racial justice.
Action plan highlights:
Commission on Police Reform and Racial Justice has been established and will be chaired by City Councilwoman Michelle Chambers. The Commission will look at strengths and weaknesses in the community and current challenges that need to be examined, including a further study of the 8 Can’t Wait initiative. In addition, the Commission will have ongoing communication with protest and demonstration leaders and will put together recommendations on possible solutions to present to the Mayor’s office and City Council.
The members of the Commission who will join Councilwoman Chambers include:
- Ahmed Abdelmageed – United Way of Allen County Advocacy Committee Chair
- AlienNature – Protest and demonstration organizer/leader
- Sheila Curry-Campbell – Fort Wayne NAACP and Allen County Council member
- Rev. Dr. Anne Epling – First Presbyterian Church
- Larry Gist – MLK Club of Fort Wayne
- Carol Helton – City of Fort Wayne City Attorney
- Joe Jordan – Boys and Girls Clubs of Fort Wayne
- Brendon Maxwell – Utopian Coffee
- Marty Pastura – Empowerment Advisors
- Pastor Anthony Pettus – Greater Progressive Baptist Church
- Nikki Quintana – Fort Wayne Metropolitan Human Relations Commission
- Sofia Rosales-Scatena – Fort Wayne Police Department Public Information Officer
- Pastor Steve Terry – New Life Church of God
- Marlon Wardlow – Parkview Health and Fort Wayne Urban League
The Fort Wayne Police Department has been doing the 8 Can’t Wait initiative as part of policy, rules/regulations, and training and will continue to do so. It includes the ban of chokeholds/strangleholds, require de-escalation, require warning before shooting when possible, exhaust all alternatives before shooting, duty to intervene, ban shooting at moving vehicles, establish use of force continuum, and require all force be reported.
The Fort Wayne Police Department will begin a pilot program utilizing more body cameras. Currently, a number of body cameras are used by the FWPD. The pilot program will expand and build on the current use of body cameras.
The City Administration, the Fort Wayne Police Department, and Fort Wayne UNITED will continue to build off of past and current successes with programming designed to educate and bring the community together. Examples include Community Unity nights, Blue Bucket Brigade, Procedural Justice courses, and L.I.V.E. (Listening to input and voices through engagement) sessions, to name a few.
Mayor Henry will reconvene the Mayor’s Roundtable on Public Safety. The Roundtable consists of individuals representing various organizations in the City of Fort Wayne to explore ways various community sectors can work together to enhance the overall safety of all Fort Wayne residents.
“We will get to where we want and need to be through dialogue, engagement, and trust with a focus on healing and understanding. I’m encouraged by the continued commitment of so many in our community to bring about positive and meaningful change to make Fort Wayne the best city possible,” said Mayor Henry. “We’re living in unprecedented times. Now is the time to move forward together so every resident who calls Fort Wayne home knows they are respected, appreciated, and valued.”