Finding Common Ground: Police and the community talk it out - Part 1

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Many believe there is a lack of trust between the community and police in South Bend. It’s a problem that’s beyond Michiana, but the relationship here is definitely not as strong as it should be.

NewsCenter 16’s Joshua Short decided to find out why, through listening.

Police and residents from the communities they serve spoke candidly in a roundtable-like format. The goal, to bridge the gap and find common ground between both sides.

Part one of this three-part series focused on the foundations of this frustration. Watch the attached video to see the entire first part.

“I really have no official to talk to, who like, listens to me,” said Alicia Johnson. “I’ll like talk to my pastor at church, or something like that,” she added in frustration regarding her lack of trust for law enforcement.

She was one of three youths and parent a part of the conversation. They were also joined by three members of law enforcement, including Chief Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Chris Fronk from St. Joseph County.

“Just as hard as is it for you to tell the good [officers], it’s just as hard, for us to know the good [residents] too,” said Fronk. “We all need to get better at that, giving each other a chance.”

“It’s not always a police officer, like because you know, we’re violent sometimes too, we’re not always in the right,” said Jarod Pigee. He added: “I don’t never want to say I hate a cop, but I also want to be able to say, I trust a cop.”

In part two, NewsCenter 16’s Joshua Short goes much deeper into their discussion, as we find out how it isn’t necessarily what you do, or say, but how. They also talk about, profiling.