First GOP candidate for Allen County Sheriff announces filing today

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WOWO): Veteran Fort Wayne Police Officer Mitch McKinney announced his candidacy for Sheriff of Allen County at Republican Headquarters at noon Thursday.

His campaign will be chaired by New Haven Mayor Steve McMichael, with Fort Wayne City Clerk Lana Keesling serving as his finance manager. McKinney was joined by his family as he made the announcement.

McKinney’s platform revolves around three key points. These points are transparency/efficiency, wellness resources, and community engagement.

McKinney was commissioned into the Fort Wayne Police Department on December 15, 1999 as part of the 52nd basic recruit class and was elected as class spokesman. He initially worked as a patrol officer and quickly went undercover in vice narcotics and eventually transferred to the highway interdiction team.

He was a member of the Emergency Services Team from 2003-2006 and was named their member of the year in 2006. In 2005 McKinney became a Law Enforcement Training Board (LETB) certified instructor and completed the training to earn the rights of a senior instructor in 2015 specializing in defensive tactics, ground fighting, emergency vehicle operations and CPR/AED. He then served as a staff instructor and supervisor for the 56th, 57th, 60th, 61st and 62nd basic recruit classes.

McKinney was appointed to the rank of Captain in 2018 and currently serves as the director of the community relations division which encompasses the School Resource Officers (SRO), Public Information Officers(PIO), Safety Village, multicultural liaisons, recruitment and community outreach programs. He serves as the commander of the Fort Wayne Police Department Pipe and Drum Brigade and also assists with the Honor Guard.

Captain McKinney served as the elected President of the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) Indiana Wayne Lodge 14: from 2010 to 2020: Indiana’s oldest lodge founded in 1918 and also serves as the NE district trustee as part of the FOP state lodge executive council. He is most proud of his programming with the FOP and Boys and Girls Clubs of Fort Wayne called the Blue Bucket Brigade.

 Captain McKinney currently serves or has served on several boards in the Fort Wayne area to include the Fort Wayne Ballet, Fort Wayne Children’s Choir, Franke Park Day Camp: Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation and McMillen Health. Most recently, he was selected to serve on the board of directors for Concordia Lutheran High School. He serves as the founder and Executive Director of the local FOP foundation: Leaving a Living Legacy, LLC.

McKinney met his wife, Cindy, 32 years ago at Franke Park day camp where they were both counselors, and today is their 26th wedding anniversary. They have two sons, Jackson and Miles. The McKinneys live in Cindy’s Family Homestead in rural Allen County, which has been in her family since it was constructed in the 1890’s.

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