The city of Fort Wayne and the Fort Wayne Police Department announced Wednesday that they have assigned two officers to a downtown patrol Monday through Friday.
Mayor Tom Henry announced the change during a news conference at One Summit Square. The mayor said they really want downtown to be a place where people feel comfortable working, playing and living.
“Fort Wayne is a very safe place but we really want our citizens to feel safe, to see our officers and interact with them,” Chief Rusty York said.
York said two officers have been assigned to patrol the downtown, working 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. or 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. shifts. Their purpose it to be visible, to patrol the one mile square area, to serve the residents and to keep things safe downtown.
They will do foot patrols, use bikes, T3 personal transportation devices, and a Bobcat utility vehicle depending upon the weather and areas they are working. The patrols will continue until the weather becomes inclement, unless they discover they are needed in those conditions as well.
The area they will be patrolling is bounded by Clay street to the east, Broadway to the west, Superior to the north, Brackenridge to the south, Headwaters Park, Lawton Park and the Greenway that surrounds the downtown area.
York said it is possible that as more people move downtown they would consider continuing the patrols into the evening hours. Currently they have officers assigned to special night events, like the TinCaps baseball games, or the Three Rivers Festival.
Patrol officers Nick Lichtsinn and Dan Hutson have been assigned to the patrol. Lichtsinn said it is his first time doing bike patrol. Hutson said he has done it before and enjoys his time on the bike.