March 9, 2021 - Last summer, the Mayor’s Commission on Police Reform and Racial Justice (Commission), comprised of members from different walks of life in the community, began to review and address concerns of local residents in the aftermath of the events following the tragic death of George Floyd. After approximately eight months of learning, discussion, and debate, the Commission today submitted their final report and recommendations to Mayor Tom Henry.
The core of these recommendations is based on how to strengthen the community’s trust in Fort Wayne’s Police Department. The Commission identified three focus areas: Race Relations, Communication, and Departmental Transparency. By identifying and focusing attention on these efforts, the Commission believes these recommendations will help bring about accountability, transparency, and healing.
Recommendations are summarized in an Executive Summary and are more fully outlined in the Report found online at https://www.cityoffortwayne.org/commission-on-police-reform-and-racial-justice.html.
Fort Wayne City Councilwoman Michelle Chambers, co-chair said, “The community has to trust the Fort Wayne Police Department, and to get there we must acknowledge that some mistrust does currently exist. The recommendations provided within this report are a first step to modifying procedures to build that trust. I appreciate the work and support of the members of the Commission who have selflessly given countless hours to assist in this mission.”
Co-chair Joe Jordan stated, “I believe this is a good, strong outcome to this process. We took a hard look at policies and procedures of the Fort Wayne Police Department. We didn’t look at one instance, but at the culture, and the surrounding services that are provided by the Department. I appreciate Mayor Henry and Chief Reed allowing and supporting their staff in sharing knowledge with this group.”
In delivering the report to Mayor Henry today, the Commission communicated its expectation of the community receiving regular updates on the implementation of the recommendations, beginning with an initial response and plan framework in the next 45 days.
In addition to the Executive Summary and the Report, videos of the Commission meetings and a toolbox of general information also have been posted online.