FWPD deputy chief becomes 3rd candidate to file in sheriff’s race

Published: Jan. 11, 2022 at 5:45 PM EST
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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA) - Black police commander Mitch McKinney has a long history of service on the city police force. Now, he’s asking voters to elect him the next sheriff of Allen County. Tuesday afternoon, with supporters on hand, McKinney filed paperwork with the county election board, making his sheriff bid official.

McKinney, who has been in charge of FWPD’s Southeast Quadrant, will provide competition in the Republican Primary Election for Troy Hershberger, chief deputy of the county sheriff’s department. Traditionally, city officers have struggled when they try to crossover and win the sheriff’s contest.

“It’s not an easy go and I don’t take it as easy. I don’t take it lightly. You know, I come through here and I’ve done a lot in my 22 years in law enforcement and the community knows that. I’m engaged with this community and I show this community exactly what law enforcement is supposed to be, that’s transparency and efficiency,” said McKinney.

“Well, it comes down to experience. The office of sheriff has constitutional responsibilities that other law enforcement agencies do not have in the state of Indiana. The obvious thing is the jail, so after spending the last 32 years of my professional career I’ve gained that experience,” Hershberger said.

Fort Wayne police captain Kevin Hunter filed his candidacy for the office last week. He’s running as a Democrat. He has a good record over a long career, but he faces a real uphill battle. The last time a Democrat was elected Allen County sheriff was in 1937.

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