FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – The Fort Wayne Gang and Violent Crimes Unit was created in February this year. Just after a couple months this new task force, several arrests have been made in fatal shooting cases, including an arrest made Thursday.
Police arrested Quinn James on charges of attempted murder and aggravated battery. Investigators say he was wanted in connection to a shooting in July 2012 in the area of Standish Drive and Fairfax Avenue. Officer Michael Joyner, Fort Wayne Police Department spokesperson, said this should be a testament that this unit is working to keep violent criminals off the streets.
“We’ve put some of the major players behind bars with the help of all of the assisting agencies with us,” he said.
Joyner said since police Chief Gary Hamilton has taken over and started the gang and violent crimes unit, the public has come forward with information to lead to the arrest of these individuals. He said the public is starting to see first-hand law enforcement and other entities working together to get these suspects off the street.
“We receive key information from members of the community that are no longer going to tolerate it,” said Joyner.
There is also help from the courts. Joyner said police are working with the courts to make sure criminals don’t return back to the community during their trial. He said police and detectives share information about the criminal that shows how they’re habitual offenders and a risk to the community. The courts see this and increase the suspects bond to a point they can’t afford to post it.
Joyner said the records speak for themselves. Around this time last year, Allen County and Fort Wayne had 13 homicides. As of Friday, there are only three homicides.
“There are about 25 or 30 of these individuals possibly 60 of these individuals that are involved in criminal activity,” said Joyner. “I’m looking at a city of 252,000 people; majority rules.”
There are still challenges though. Police want to make sure no one will take the place of the key players of these gangs or cliques. Joyner hopes criminals seeing these arrests happen will make them think twice before committing a crime.