February 21, 2019 - The Fort Wayne Parks & Recreation Department’s Partner Officer Program received the Innovative Program Award during the Indiana Parks and Recreation Association (IPRA) Conference in French Lick.

The Partner Officer Program began in the three Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation youth centers in January 2018. Uniformed, off-duty Fort Wayne police officers work at the three Youth Centers to play with, help, and serve kids who spend their afternoons there. In local schools they are called Resource Officers, and in Youth Centers, these Partner Officers are becoming regular fixtures, with center participants knowing them as the great people they are—not just uniforms they only see at crime scenes.

“This award is well-deserved by the hard working staff from our Youth Centers and the Partner Officers who are mentoring so many young people in our city at these facilities,” said Parks & Recreation Director Steve McDaniel. “We are truly proud of the difference this program is making in our neighborhoods.”