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Citizens review board approved by South Bend Common Council

Published: Oct. 5, 2020 at 11:15 PM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - The South Bend Common Council has voted 8-1 in favor of a citizens police review board.

16 News Now spoke with the chief sponsor of the bill to learn more about what comes next.

After months of discussion about how alleged incidents of officer misconduct should be dealt with in the city of South Bend, the city’s common council voted in favor of a citizens review board.

“We’re talking about members of this community that really sought out this change, and they wanted it, and they stuck with it. This is how you change your government. This is a government ran by the people for the people, and South Bend showed that," South Bend Common Council Member Henry Davis Jr. said.

This board will be made up of nine community members appointed by the city council, and the director of the board will be appointed by the city clerk, rather than by the mayor as previously proposed.

“We spoke with Clerk Jones and asked her if she would be comfortable doing it, and she said yes, so it worked for everyone at that point. So, that was one of the compromises we made. It wasn’t a bad compromise,” Davis said.

There were many people from the public who gave comments during Monday’s meeting, with many of those showing their support of the bill.

“We’ve all been rocked by the reality of what goes on when police and community don’t mix well. It sounds like the city of South Bend, the members of the city of South Bend, the residents and the citizens are interested in change,” Davis said.

Now that the bill has been passed by the council, what happens next?

“Right now we are really getting ready to get into the weeds of it. We have the framework, but now it’s time to get into the weeds of it. So, we’re going to be working very hard between now and January 1 of 2021,” Davis said.

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