Fort Wayne Police Chief stepping down

(Photo Supplied/ FWPD)

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WOWO): Fort Wayne Police Chief Garry Hamilton is stepping down and will be taking a new position starting Aug. 1.

He will lead Fort Wayne Police Department’s new community relations division, Mayor Tom Henry said during a press conference Friday.

The new position was Hamilton’s idea, which he pitched to Henry in October. The mayor originally said no, but Hamilton was persistent.

He told WOWO he wanted the new assignment because of what happened in other cities Ferguson, Mo. and Baltimore.

“If you look at all the shootings,” Hamilton said. “See how the communities are in uproar?”

He said he wants something established in Fort Wayne so that the community has a police officer they can trust if a similar incident were to happen here.

Hamilton will remain as police chief until August, which he said allows 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, Henry and Public Safety Director Rusty York will work together to choose the next police chief, which will come from within the FWPD. The A new chief will be named in a couple months.

“I’m honored to have served as police chief for the City of Fort Wayne,” Hamilton said. “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.”

Hamilton became the first black police chief in the history of Fort Wayne when he took office in January 2014. He’s been with the department since 1994.

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