Finalists announced in search for South Bend Police Chief - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Finalists announced in search for South Bend Police Chief

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Three finalists have been chosen for the chief of South Bend Police. 

The finalists are Christopher Elg, Bruce Marquis and Ronald Teachman. Biographical information on the three finalists can be found below.

The finalists will be meeting with the mayor soon before he makes the final decision on who to hire.

"This process has been inclusive, professional, diverse, and thorough," said Mayor Pete Buttigieg in a press release. "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."

The Mayor declined to make any further comment involving the finalists.

The search began in August after former-Chief Darryl Boykins was demoted following an investigation into recorded phone calls within the department.  Boykins has filed a discrimination complaint over his demotion.

Residents shared their opinions on the police chief search at a public forum back in October.  An advisory committee of community leaders and experts recommended the finalists to the mayor.

"We talked about this at Easter. We talked about this at Memorial Day," said Oliver Davis, South Bend Common Council Vice President. "We talked about this during the 4th of July, we talked about it at Labor Day, we talked about it Halloween. We even said Thanksgiving about it. Now we are at Christmas going into New Years and we'll still be talking about it."

Needless to say many South Bend Council Members are ready to see who the new chief will be after a nine month search, but after a list of three finalists was released Thursday, there is some skepticism.

"There's no question in my mind an officer should come from the police department," said Derek Dieter, the President of the South Bend Common Council. "I don't think people realize the decades of work that officers have done there. they live in the community, they were born in the community."

Seeing no local names on the list is the main problem some councilmen have. None of the three finalists are from the South Bend area. In fact, they are not from the Midwest.
    

Elg is from West Monroe, LA, Marquis from Norfolk, VA, and Teachman is from New Bedford, MA.

"The mayor has the full authority to appoint who he wants to appoint and that's either to his credit or to his detriment," said Henry Davis Jr., South Bend Common Council.

Some councilman feel like it will be to the mayors detriment. A quick search online shows newspaper reports show that two of the three listed, Marquis and Teachman, recently retired earlier than anticipated from their previous posts.

According to the Virginian Pilot, Marquis was facing scrutiny involving the death of a police recruit.

The South Coast published an article in April 2011 claiming Teachman was at odds with the New Bedford City Council.

Elg is currently a finalist for multiple positions throughout the country.

"I'm sure people of South Bend will Google all of their names and look at everything we're doing because this is a public process and these are public officials," said Davis.

While the council members are ready for this process to be over, they also want the people of South Bend to know they have the right chief in office.

"This entire thing has been a mess like Oliver said since day one. I'm not one to just say hey I'm tired of it and forget it. No we need to do the right thing," said Dieter.

All three councilman agreed that the police department needs a chief ASAP because they feel the morale is low there right now.

The mayor's office tells us the next time he speaks about this in front of cameras will be when he announces the new chief.

More on the three finalists:

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.

Bruce Marquis has been a chief of police in two mid-size U.S. cities—Hartford, Connecticut and most recently, Norfolk, Virginia. 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.

What do you think about the finalists?  Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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