Crime Fighters: Mayoral Candidates Talk SE Fort Wayne

By Max Resnik

January 6, 2011 Updated Jan 6, 2011 at 7:37 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana’s NewsCenter) Community and police interaction, re-defining the allocation of personnel and resources and re-examining how drug and gang related violence is combated are some of the themes candidates in Fort Wayne’s Mayoral Election are pushing.

Businessman Eric Doden, County Councilwoman Paula Hughes and City Councilwoman Liz Brown will square off in the May Primary Election and challenge for the seat currently held by Democrat Tom Henry.

The Fort Wayne’s southeast side saw 19 of the Summit City’s 28 homicides. Thirty total homicides were committed in Allen County in 2010, an increase of nearly one-third from 2009. Total crime in the city is at its lowest point in 30 years and Fort Wayne, compared to other cities its size, has a lower crime rate.

Hughes proposes a three-prong approach that focuses on strong enforcement of justice, prevention and intervention.

Brown believes in taking the drug problem head on. She says that because it’s the catalyst in the majority of the violent crimes committed in Fort Wayne, the city has to “hit them hard.”

Doden would pursue economic development in the area. He believes, similar to both Brown and Hughes, that the city, community members, religious leaders and law enforcement must interact to create bonds that keep the southeast safe.

Mayor Tom Henry says technology will play an important role in fighting violent crime in 2011. He says, “In 2011, we will continue to use leading-edge technology to assist in our efforts. The use of an automated finger print identification system will allow detectives to perform mobile fingerprinting and to identify palm prints at homicide scenes. Police believe that this system along with other technology that will provide laser sketches at a crime scene will assist in solving homicides and getting a conviction.”

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