Two veterans of the Fort Wayne Police Department, each with more than 20 years of experience with the force, were promoted to key posts Monday as part of a shift within the department.
Former Capt. James Feasel, who had headed the department's narcotics unit, was sworn in as deputy chief for northeast Fort Wayne. In his new position, Feasel will take on more administrative duties while also serving as the face of the police department to northeast-side residents.
“He'll be responsible for really studying crime data in the northeast quadrant,” Police Chief Rusty York said. “He has to be very accessible to the neighborhoods within his division to know what their concerns are.”
Feasel received his commission in 1990 and has served in various divisions, including in the narcotics unit for the last 10 years, he said. His shift comes as the result of former Deputy Chief Nancy Chamberlain's retirement last month, which moved northeast Deputy Chief Garry Hamilton to the southeast quadrant.
Feasal listed drug problems and a recent rash of thefts from parked cars among the top issues facing northeast Fort Wayne.
“Thefts from vehicles are a significant problem right now for the northeast quadrant, and that's one of the first issues I plan on addressing,” he said.
City Clerk Sandra Kennedy also swore in new Capt. Kevin Hunter as Feasel's successor in the narcotics division. Hunter, who received his commission in 1989, previously served as a lieutenant in the department's internal affairs division and headed the Crisis Response Team, which handles hostage situations.
Hunter said his goals with the narcotics division will include ongoing efforts to crack down on synthetic drugs such as “K2” and “bath salts,” which officials say are often sold under the table at small convenience stores.
“It is quite a big shift,” Hunter said of his promotion. “I think it'll be a great challenge.”
Earlier this year, Feasel and former Allen Superior Court judge Ken Scheibenberger led efforts to strengthen the city's “drug house” ordinance to allow stiffer penalties on convenience stores that allow the illicit sale of synthetic drugs.