Will next South Bend police chief be an out-of-towner?

Some on the South Bend Common Council are absolutely convinced that all current members of the city police department--who applied for the vacant chief’s position--have already been eliminated.

“As late as today, in all of my considerations that I have been receiving it seems that nobody locally is going to be in the final running for that,” said South Bend’s 6th District Councilman Oliver Davis.

Today, Mayor Pete Buttigieg was asked if he would confirm or deny the claim, but he refused.
Buttigieg said he hoped to release the names of three finalists soon: Perhaps as early as the end of this week.

The last time an out-of-towner was hired as South Bend’s police chief was in 1939, when the job went to Bill Ingram of Wichita, Kansas.

Councilman Oliver Davis feels it would be a shame if it happened again. “Because you have people who have committed their lives to our public safety here who have started from day one who have come up through the ranks and who have really worked hard here in South Bend to one day be the chief here, and that has happened here from time to time in past years and that has been successful for us,” said Davis.

Councilman Davis says he attended a public hearing on the search for a new police chief last summer where he heard strong public sentiment for a local candidate.

“There is some elements of success that can come from an outside person too, but the way it has been here, and the way, again, it was portrayed that it would be, was that somebody from the inside would have a chance to get to the final round, if they did not have a chance I think they would have rather known that and they would not have applied,” said Councilman Oliver Davis.


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