FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) In the wake of the deaths of the three officers, the Fort Wayne Police Department is speaking out about the losses.
Officers said they’re left asking why police-related shootings continue to be on the rise.
Officer Michael Joyner, Public Information Officer for the Fort Wayne Police Department said the office was in shock Monday. He said not only do officers feel they lost a family member, but they know it could have been them.
“The department is a buzz. I mean you walk through the corridors and you walk in the offices and there’s this hush and it’s understandable. We’re reeling. We’re trying to figure out why,” said Officer Joyner.
Fort Wayne Police officers reacted to the three officers killed over the course of a week and a half.
“It’s hard to speak about,” said Officer Joyner.
Officer Joyner has been with the department for 20 years.
“It’s definitely gotten worse. It’s not gotten any better, I’ll tell you that. You look at the numbers, the statistics, law enforcement deaths in the line of duty are increasing for no good reason.”
Joyner says it has nothing to do with officer training, but society.
“You see these gang members, drug dealers that will shoot and kill one another and not think another thing about it and now, we’re tied up into it. And these individuals are quick to turn their aggression and violence towards law enforcement, the very people that are here to help you in situations you can’t handle yourself.”
Fort Wayne Police Chief Garry Hamilton said he’s been in touch with the Chiefs of Indianapolis and Gary, offering his condolences.
“When you put on that uniform each and every day, you put your life on the line and that’s realistic. You’re a target but you’re someone of the law and you must stand up for what’s right and a lot of people take that for granted,” said Chief Hamilton.
Governor Mike Pence also weighed in on the tragedy, issuing the following statement:
“It is with heavy hearts that we mourn the loss of those three officers. On behalf of the First Lady and Hoosiers everywhere, I extend our deepest condolences and prayers to those who knew these officers as family members, friends, colleagues and neighbors.”
Officer Joyner referenced assault rifles as being part of the problem. That’s what Officer Perry Renn was killed with.
Joyner said those weapons have been turned toward law enforcement too many times and have no business being on the street.