FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) -- Dozens gathered in downtown Fort Wayne to hear the four panelists speaking on the topic of defunding the Fort Wayne Police Department.
The forum was hosted by Advancing Voices of Women (AVOW), and co-founder Patti Hays says this was not to give anyone any sort of answer.
"It's not an either/or, it's just a discussion," she says.
The panel was made up of past and present Fort Wayne Police Department officers, community activists and Fort Wayne city councilmembers.
"It's a good time to get the community talking about the way the police department is funded," says Hays. "This is an opportunity to change the current structure."
One activist who spoke says she isn't against police and many don't want to see the department dismantled or defunded, but have funds or personnel redirected.
Sgt. Sofia Rosales-Scatena with the FWPD says police are currently looking at ways to improve.
"What we need to do is look internally and see what works and what doesn't," she says.
Scatena also points out that while some outside the department think some suggestions are easy to do and are a no-brainer, some come with more problems than solutions.
"It's easy to say send a social worker in when you're not a social worker," she says. "As an officer, I need to now worry about the suspect and the person who is in with me."