UPDATE: Three finalists announced for South Bend police chief

By: NewsCenter 16 Email
By: NewsCenter 16 Email

South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg announced three finalists for the position of South Bend chief of police on Thursday.

After reviewing over 60 applications, Christopher Elg, Bruce Marquis and Ronald Teachman were chosen.

Each finalist will now have the opportunity to interview in person with the mayor.

In a release, the mayor said:

“Three highly-experienced candidates clearly made it to the top of the list during this process. I look forward to announcing a new leader for the South Bend Police Department soon.”

Christopher Elg has been a chief of police or public safety director the last 17 years. He currently serves as the chief of police in West Monroe, Louisiana, where he has worked since 2004. From 2001 to 2003 he was the director of public safety in Van Buren Township, Michigan. He has also been the police director or chief in Carteret, New Jersey, and Medical Lake, Washington. He started his law enforcement career in 1985 as a state trooper with the New York State Police. Elg has two degrees from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York in addition to a master’s degree from Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey. Elg has also served in the U.S. Coast Guard since 1989.

According to NBC-affiliate KMOT, Elg is also a finalist for a police chief position in Bismarck, North Dakota.

Bruce Marquis has been a chief of police in two mid-size U.S. cities—Hartford, Connecticut and most recently, Norfolk, Virginia. According to the Virginian Pilot, Marquis retired in Norfolk after an evaluation of all department heads. Marquis came under fire for his handling of the death of a recruit, who died during training. He’s currently a law enforcement consultant for the U.S. Department of State and teaches leadership, management, and antiterrorism courses to mid and senior-level police officials in partner nations around the world. He was also a special agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation from 1984 to 1994 in Houston. Marquis has a bachelor’s degree, two master’s degrees, and a Doctor of Education (Ed.D) in higher education administration. Marquis served in the U.S. Air Force from 1975 to 1983.

Ronald Teachman is a 34 year veteran of the New Bedford (Mass.) Police Department, where he finished his time as chief of police from 2006 to 2011. At New Bedford, he held the ranks of patrolman, sergeant, lieutenant, and captain. He currently works for The Emergence Group, a Washington, D.C. based company specializing in criminal justice reform in post-conflict and emerging nations. He has a law degree from the New England School of Law in addition to two bachelor’s degrees.

Teachman was a finalist in a Racine police chief search earlier this year but, according to the Journal-Times, he withdrew his name because accepting the position could hurt his employer.

While the decision on who gets the job of top cop is up to Buttigieg, some common council leaders say they and the public have the right to know more about how they were selected.

"At this point, when questions are asked by this council of how many members from the South Bend Police Department put in for it, how many officers in Indiana, how many people from across the country, we still have not received that info," said Common Council President Derek Dieter.

But, other council members say, because they have no say in the decision, it doesn't matter.

"We shouldn't be privy to it at all," said Common Council Member Fred Ferlic. "We have other issues in this city, vacant and abandoned houses, schools. It's an executive decision, not a legislative decision."

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