Town hall meeting: support for police chief to come from within

Mayor Pete Buttigieg invited the South Bend Community to take part in a town hall meeting Thursday at the Kroc Center to express feelings on who the new police chief should be.

The event was no full house, but those who attended came with a lot on their mind. And the one thing a majority of participants had in common- they want to see the new police chief hired from within.

Mayor Pete says he held the event to make sure citizens were able to give their two cents on what they want to see in a police chief. Multiple individuals expressed concern over an out-of-town chief, claiming he would be unfamiliar with the workings of the South Bend P-D, and said it would be unfair to those who worked their way up in the ranks.

Others said they don't care where the new chief comes from as long as he is qualified and dedicated to serving the city of South Bend.

Several council members were present and voiced their opinions on the matter. 6th District member Oliver Davis says he would like to see candidates have recommendations from previous councils they have worked with, and ensure they choose a home in the city of South Bend, not any of the surrounding communities.

1st District Council member Tim Scott reminded the crowd he is originally from out of town. Scott says he received a warm welcome upon arrival to South Bend and would like to see a new chief recieve the same treatment.

Council Member at Large Derek Dieter says he doesn't want a chief who will use South Bend as a stepping stone. He wants someone who will be invested in the community.

While Mayor Pete has hired a consultant to help in his decision making and through the application process, he will be the one to ultimately appoint a new chief. He said he will consider the input from the community.

A new chief should be in place by the first of the new year. Mayor Pete and his consultant say they have between 8 and 10 applications in already.

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