Council Members react to selection of new Police Chief - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Council Members react to selection of new Police Chief


South Bend City Council members are welcoming the newly selected Police Chief, Ron Teachman with open arms, but they say the process of selecting a chief in South Bend needs some improvements going forward.

South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg made the selection official Friday afternoon.  "Very pleased to be able to announce that Ron Teachman is going to be South Bend's next Chief of Police," said Buttigieg.  Council members are also pleased.  "I'm thankful that we can finally close this chapter," said Council member Oliver Davis.  And fellow Council Member Henry Davis Jr. said, "I'm really happy that we are gonna be able to move on from this debacle."  That debacle is what you've been hearing about for months, the tapes saga that included the demotion of former police chief Darryl Boykins, and firing of the police department's director of communication.  "I think we need to move forward this has really been a black eye on the city of South Bend," said Davis Jr.

Henry Davis Jr. and Oliver Davis admit even after Teachman starts the issue won't just go away. And they have some other issues they say need to be addressed.  "We also have to look at the diversity of our city leadership that is the elephant in the room," said Davis, and Davis Jr. said, "I want to make sure the diversity in the police department will become what mirrors what the city of South Bend is."

Another issue?  Making sure our local police officers have what it takes so they can move up the ranks.  Oliver Davis said, "my goal now out of all of this is to look at all the police officers, especially those here locally to see what was lacking in them."  He wants to make sure the South Bend officers get the education and training they need to be considered for future leadership positions.  Buttigieg said Teachman is the guy for that job, "he is somebody who I believe is going to cultivate the next generation of leadership within the Police Department to continue to rise through the ranks and move our community forward."

While Council members said they're ready to work closely with Teachman, they also said they've have had zero communication with him so far.  It's not required since just the mayor appoints the new chief, Davis would like to see that change.  "That's what I really want to focus on in 2013, how to do a better transition process that would be more inclusive with the mayor, with the city council," said Oliver Davis.

This is the first time in a very long time that a mayor has gone with someone from the outside.  Mayor Buttigieg addressed that Friday by saying he wanted the best person for the job period, and it didn't matter where they came from.




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