Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry today announced Police Chief Garry Hamilton will lead the Fort Wayne Police Department’s new community relations division effective August 1.
Hamilton will remain as police chief until August 1, which will allow him to lead public safety efforts through the busiest time of the year for the department and have a role in the transition process. Hamilton will join Mayor Henry and Public Safety Director Rusty York in the decision making process to hire the next police chief. A new police chief will be named in the coming months.
The creation of a community relations division has been under consideration for several months as a way to further enhance the department’s commitment to being approachable and accessible to maximize relationships with neighborhoods, meet with community and neighborhood leaders regularly, open lines of communication, and improve the quality of life in Fort Wayne.
As deputy chief of the division, Hamilton will lead proactive efforts to engage and communicate with residents and neighborhoods to continue to build trust and open communication on public safety matters. The position change was at Hamilton’s request as he has a heart and passion for dedicating his time to help residents and bring law enforcement efforts closer to neighborhoods and businesses.
Hamilton has served as police chief since January 2014.
Highlights of successes under Chief Hamilton’s leadership:
*Creation of the Gang and Violent Crimes Unit. In 2015, the unit made nearly 500 arrests and recovered more than 80 guns.
*Overall crime has decreased, as have homicides, robberies, burglaries, vehicle thefts, and property crimes.
*In 2014, 15 new police officers joined the department, and in 2015, 21 new police officers were hired. Earlier this month, plans were announced to add 26 police officers in 2017.
*Involvement in homicide case reviews and cold case reviews.
*Oversaw the Mayor’s Roundtable on Public Safety, which brings community and neighborhood leaders together to discuss strategies to move Fort Wayne forward in the right direction through dialogue and action items.
“Garry has been a tremendous police chief,” said Mayor Henry. “I appreciate his professionalism and dedication to serving and protecting our community. He will be taking over an important role as we continue our proactive efforts to engage and communicate with residents and businesses. We must work together to be welcoming and innovative to meet the needs of a growing and prospering city.”
“I’m honored to have served as police chief for the City of Fort Wayne,” said Chief Hamilton. “I’m looking forward to this new opportunity to make a positive difference. Having a division dedicated to community outreach and communication will be a tremendous benefit to our residents and neighborhoods. My passion is to reach out and be a resource for the public. Getting out into the neighborhoods and interacting with individuals and families will have a meaningful impact and can serve as a best practice to build on our public safety programs.”
Prior to becoming police chief, Hamilton served as deputy chief of the southeast quadrant, deputy chief of the northeast quadrant, liaison officer to the Allen County Prosecutor’s Office, captain of the southeast quadrant, and sergeant in internal affairs. He’s been with the department since 1994.