New gang unit ready to hit the streets

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE)  Fort Wayne’s new Chief of Police Garry Hamilton along with County, State, and Federal law enforcement announced the formation of a new gang unit on Friday.

NewsChannel 15 first reported on this unit on Wednesday, when Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry highlighted its formation in his State of the City Address. 

Gang violence was a big contributor to 2013 being the deadliest year in Fort Wayne with 45 homicides.

“Now more than ever, we’re focused on reversing the trend of violence in our community,” said Mayor Tom Henry on Friday. “I applaud the efforts of the Fort Wayne Police Department and our law enforcement partners for being committed to reducing crime. By working together, we can make a difference. Public safety is critical to any thriving City, and we know that we must be a place where residents and businesses feel safe.”

The new unit, which will pair up with  county, state, and federal agencies, will hit the streets on Tuesday. 

Fort Wayne Police Chief Garry Hamilton says he’s adding three captains and 12 officers to the new gang and violent crimes unit.

“Our message is simple– our community is demanding that the shootings stop,” said Chief Hamilton. “We’re also making it known that there is help for those at risk and involved in group violence if they want it, and we are willing to assist them in getting that help. The creation of this Gang and Violent Crimes Unit is going to improve our ability to hold these gangs and groups accountable for murders their members commit. The rules have changed.”

Chief Hamilton said this new unit will still need the help of the community. Anyone with information on known gangs, drug dealers, and people illegally selling guns to violent felons needs to report it.

Tips can be submitted anonymously at the Fort Wayne Police Department website (click on the icon in the upper-right hand corner) or by calling the hotline at (260) 427-1262 .

Police do believe this new gang unit will be a success and make the Fort Wayne community safer. Allen County Prosecutor Karen Richards said the new unit will help her office build better cases and get violent people off the streets.

The following agencies are involved in this new gang unit:

  • Fort Wayne Police Department:  3 Supervisors and 12 Officers
  • Allen County Prosecutors Attorney’s Office
  • Allen County Sheriff’s Office
  • Indiana State Police: 1 Trooper
  • United States Attorney’s Office
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
  • Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF)
  • Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
  • United States Marshal’s Service (USMS)

 

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