Chief talks about demotion of former deputy chief

Derrick Westfield with the Fort Wayne Police Department.

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) The family of a Fort Wayne teenager involved in a road rage altercation with a former FWPD deputy chief last November has appealed to the city’s Public Safety board.

The Gonzales family said Derrick Westfield’s demotion to caption was not harsh enough.

Thursday, the family filed a formal appeal of the police department’s demotion of Westfield last month. The board received the appeal and will decide at its next meeting if they will hear the appeal or not.

Westfield was involved in what started as an apparent road rage incident that ended in a physical altercation with a minor in the driveway of a home in the 1500 block of Millenium Crossing. Westfield was off-duty and in his personal vehicle.

While the Allen County Prosecutor’s Office declined to criminally charge Westfield in the incident, FWPD Chief Steve Reed decided to demote the long-time officer to the rank of captain. Westfield now serves as a captain in the southwest division.

Reed spoke to NewsChannel 15 Thursday and said he considered demoting Westfield to a lesser rank, but believed the decision fit the matter at hand. Gonzales previously told NewsChannel 15 he does not believe captain is appropriate because that means Westfield is still in a position of power.

Gonzales wants to see a further demotion or termination.

The Public Safety Board will meet again March 1.