FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WOWO): Mayor Tom Henry announced the “Moving Forward Together” plan Thursday at Citizens Square in light of recent protests in Fort Wayne.
Henry announced a commission on police reform and racial justice, a continuation of Fort Wayne Police participating in the 8 Can’t Wait initiative, more body cameras for officers, more programming between the city and Fort Wayne UNITED, and the reconvening of the Mayor’s Roundtable on Public Safety.
The commission will look into the 8 Can’t Wait initiative, challenges in the community and will have communication with protesters on possible solutions. This will be lead by Councilwoman Michelle Chambers, includes the following members:
- Ahmed Abdelmageed – United Way of Allen County Advocacy Committee Chair
- AlienNature – Protest and demonstration organizer/leader
- Sheila Curry-Campbell – Fort Wayne NAACP and Allen County Council member
- Rev. Dr. Anne Epling – First Presbyterian Church
- Larry Gist – MLK Club of Fort Wayne
- Carol Helton – City of Fort Wayne City Attorney
- Joe Jordan – Boys & Girls Clubs of Fort Wayne
- Brendon Maxwell – Utopian Coffee
- Marty Pastura – Empowerment Advisors
- Pastor Anthony Pettus – Greater Progressive Baptist Church
- Nikki Quintana – Fort Wayne Metropolitan Human Relations Commission
- Sofia Rosales-Scatena – Fort Wayne Police Department Public Information Officer
- Pastor Steve Terry – New Life Church of God
- Marlon Wardlow – Parkview Health and Fort Wayne Urban League
The 8 Can’t Wait initiative includes a ban of chokeholds or strangleholds, requires de-escalation, requires a warning before shooting when possible, try all alternatives before shooting, disallows shooting at moving vehicles, establishes a use of force continuum and requires all force be reported.
The additional body cameras are coming from a pilot program that will increase the number available for the department.
Fort Wayne United hopes to grow programming that includes Community Unity nights, Blue Bucket Brigade, Procedural Justice courses and L.I.V.E. (Listening to input and voices through engagement) sessions.
The Mayor’s Roundtable on Public Safety features representatives from various community organizations working together to increase safety in Fort Wayne.
“We will get to where we want and need to be through dialogue, engagement, and trust with a focus on healing and understanding,” said Mayor Henry. “I’m encouraged by the continued commitment of so many in our community to bring about positive and meaningful change to make Fort Wayne the best city possible. We’re living in unprecedented times. Now is the time to move forward together so every resident who calls Fort Wayne home knows they are respected, appreciated, and valued.”