Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry announced his appointment Monday for the city’s new police chief. Garry Hamilton will be the first African-American to hold the position, replacing outgoing chief Rusty York, who was recently named the city’s new public safety director.
At a press conference, Mayor Henry said Hamilton’s priorities will be to improve communication with other law enforcement agencies and the community, and to instate a strategic plan to address homicides and violent crimes in the city.
Fort Wayne experienced a record number of homicides in 2013. Hamilton says he has no specific action plan to address the issue yet.
“I’m going to meet with my staff first and hear their thoughts and we’ll come together with a plan to address the violent crime that’s occurring throughout the city,” Hamilton said.
He adds there is a possibility of adding a homicide review team to improve investigations. This would include participation with other agencies like the FBI and prosecutor’s office.
He would also like to reinstate a liaison officer with the prosecutor’s office. That is a position that Hamilton himself once held, but that is not currently filled.
Hamilton has served the Fort Wayne Police Department for 19 years, most recently as deputy chief of the southeast quadrant. He’ll begin his duties as Police Chief on the first of the year.