Fort Wayne public safety director talks to WOWO about retirement announcement

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WOWO): Fort Wayne’s public safety director plans to announce his retirement Tuesday.

Public Safety Director Rusty York will make the announcement Tuesday evening during the Fort Wayne City Council meeting.

The council will start its annual budget review soon and his position will likely be eliminated.

York told WOWO News, the potential elimination of the $120,000-a-year position was a small factor in his decision.

“Well, that’s certainly a reality,” York said. “You know, they talked about it last budget cycle, in fact one of the council people submitted that proposal, for a cut, and then withdrew it. Then after the first of the year, with the new council, it was discussed again, but ultimately they had to wait until the next budget cycle.”

York said he actually planned on retiring last year. “You know I ran for City Council and we (York and his wife) thought, if that was successful, I would of retired last year, so I talked to the Mayor and I stayed on for another year.”

Photo Supplied/Rusty York
Photo Supplied/Rusty York

When it comes to the elimination of the Public Safety Director position, he hopes that City Council will see its value.

“I ask that they look at what that position brings to public safety for the city and our county and not have it be purely a political decision,” York said.

York has served as director of public safety since January 2014. Before he served as police chief from 2000 to 2014. He has 39 years of public safety experience.

When York retires, Police Chief Steve Reed and Fire Chief Eric Lahey will serve as co-directors of public safety until a replacement is named, according to the city of Fort Wayne. 

“Rusty York is a true servant leader. His leadership style and commitment to making a positive difference in public safety are to be commended,” Mayor Tom Henry said in a press release. “I appreciate his values, professionalism, and integrity that have assisted us in our collective efforts to have the finest police and fire departments in the country and be the safety city possible.”

During his retirement, York plans on traveling with his wife and teaching at IPFW.

He is set to retire on December 1, 2016.



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