February 2, 2024 - Mayor Tom Henry, Police Chief Scott Caudill and Fire Chief Eric Lahey today provided a public safety recap of 2023 and highlighted plans for 2024, with a commitment to keep the City of Fort Wayne as safe as possible.
Fort Wayne Police Department Data and Highlights from 2023:
- Officers responded to over 140,000 calls for service.
- There were 27 homicides in 2023, with a clearance rate of 92%.
- The FWPD’s 67th Recruit class graduated, and those 22 officers began their duty on the streets.
- Seven officers from the 25th class of lateral officers also began their duty on the streets.
- The Drone as First Responder (DFR) program was launched, and they are now responding to 911 calls.
- HART (Hope and Recovery Team, made up of social workers and detectives) followed up with 1,341 addicted individuals to help with treatment and recovery services, reached 2,996 unhoused individuals with Handing Out Home and Street Outreach events, and engaged the community with 29,820 page views on social media.
FWPD Plans for 2024:
- The FWPD has a change in leadership with Chief Scott Caudill.
- The HART Team will add a fourth social worker.
- The FWPD’s 68th recruit class will begin in early spring.
- The Drone as First Responder (DFR) program will be expanded.
- The first ever River Patrol will begin patrolling the rivers seasonally.
- The FWPD will focus on increasing the number of Downtown Bike Patrol officers.
- A study of Real Time Crime Center Implementation will begin.
- The FWPD will explore the implementation of a traffic unit that focuses on traffic law education to improve safety on our roadways, as well as enforcement.
FWFD Highlights from 2023
- In 2023 the Fort Wayne Fire Department responded to over 26,000 emergency calls for service, completed over 7,500 inspections of local businesses, investigated over 300 fires and arrested 17 people for arson related crimes, completed over 180,000 hours of training, and the Public Education Division delivered almost 300 fire safety programs to over 20,000 kids.
- Working in partnership with Three Rivers Ambulance Authority, the system Medical Director, and the Dispatch Center, the FWFD realized a 23% decrease in EMS run volume, translating to a 12.5% decrease in FWFD overall run volume. By reviewing dispatch protocols and making minor adjustments, the FWFD was able to match their resources to the community’s need while still maintaining the level of service that citizens have come to expect from the FWFD.
- In 2023 the FWFD Code Enforcement Division saw a 4% increase in their total number of inspections while also seeing a 6% decrease in the number of re-inspections, with a goal of always looking for ways to improve services with a focus on saving lives.
- The FWFD increased their ability to effectively respond to emergency calls for service while increasing firefighter safety by:
- Completing the build of new Fire Station 14 located on the corner of State and Reed.
- Taking delivery and deploying new handheld radios.
- Taking delivery and deploying Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) air-packs.
- The 95th recruit class graduated in October, increasing the staffing level to 368 firefighters.
- One firefighter was promoted to the rank of battalion chief, one to the rank of district chief, three to the rank of captain and five to the rank of lieutenant.
- Over 40 firefighters were awarded unit citations for saving lives.
FWFD Plans for 2024
- The FWFD will take delivery of six new apparatus.
- On January 8, 2024, District Chief Jermaine Thomas and Captain Jonathan Flickinger were promoted to the rank of Assistant Chief. Through these promotions, the FWFD is increasing its commitment to firefighter safety and community risk reduction.
- A promotional process for the rank of Lieutenant will be initiated.
- The 96th recruit class will begin and graduate, with the goal of maintaining a staffing level of 370 firefighters.
- The design of new Fire Station 5 in Waynedale will be initiated, with the expectation of breaking ground in 2025.
“I continue to be encouraged and impressed with the levels of service being provided by our police and fire departments. We’re fortunate to live in a safe city, and we all take comfort in knowing that public safety personnel will be there for us,” said Mayor Henry. “Last year saw many successes and I’m looking forward to the proactive plans for this year that are designed to make a lasting and meaningful impact in our community.”