Fort Wayne safety chief to retire

Rusty York will retire December 1

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) Fort Wayne Public Safety Director Rusty York announced Tuesday he is retiring.

File photo of Rusty York
File photo of Rusty York

The former chief of the Fort Wayne Police Department will retire Dec. 1, the city announced Tuesday. York was appointed to the post in January 2014 by Mayor Tom Henry when the role was reinstated after 13 years.

In February, Fort Wayne City Council debated eliminating the Public Safety Director position before it tabled the discussion. The council pledged to revive the discussion when 2017 city budget discussions began, however. York said he has been planning on retiring for a while, but wanted to make the announcement ahead of Tuesday’s City Council meeting.

“The public safety salary ordinance is going to be voted on and the public safety director’s salary is in that ordinance, so just to avoid any distractions in the whole process we’re doing it today,” York said.

Henry said York’s service to the city should be commended.

“Rusty York is a true servant leader,” said Henry. “His leadership style and commitment to making a positive difference in public safety are to be commended. 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.”

York said he is proud of the accomplishments by both the police and fire departments during his time in the position.

“The citizens of Fort Wayne don’t need to worry about the police or fire departments,” York said. “They are in good hands and I’m very proud of that because I’ve been a mentor, especially to our police chief, but also to our fire chief over the past two years.”

In a statement, the city said Police Chief Steve Reed and Fire Chief Eric Lahey will serve as co-directors of public safety until a permanent replacement is named.