One on one with new Chief Teachman - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

One on one with new Chief Teachman

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After approaching the community for their questions and concerns, we took them to the top.
FOX28's Traci Capellman sat down with Chief Teachman, one-on-one, to have some of those questions answered and to find out what type of philosophy he brings to the table.

Chief Ron Teachman says, "I didn't know when I went how much I would but as it became small in my rearview mirror, if you will, I definitely missed it."  Ron Teachman, a former Massachusetts police chief who just spent 18 months overseas training police officers, is ready to once again lead a police force.

"Before making any bold pronouncements of change, forgive the metaphor, but the doctor needs to examine the patient."  And that was one of the theme's we heard as we sat down with the new South Bend Police chief on his first day on the job.  He says he has started studying the department and wants to make educated decisions before even beginning to talk change.

He knows a big challenge he's planning to face immediately: mending fences and regaining the public's trust.  "Well, think about the relationships in your personal life.  They don't just materialize.  It takes some time.  As much as I have an urgency to get this done, you have to spend the time with folks.  Be open with them.  Be transparent with them.  Share ideas and listen to them.  The listening is the biggest part."

He's definitely been "listening," listening to other area police chiefs he's meeting, and asking for feedback internally and from the public.  He's ready to take on another concern of many residents we talked to, violence.

"It's not just about the officer on the beat. Although, that's a part of it.  But, it's also energizing the community and getting the community involved in it's own self-policing, giving people a sense of engagement and most of all, giving them a sense of trust."

And clearly a forward thinker, he wants to have a conversation with the community about how to measure success.  "There are still police departments measuring their response time.  To me, that's like flat earth thinking.  I'm not concerned about responding to something that already happened.  I want to have a conversation about how we prevent things from happening."

While Chief Teachman says he aims to make the department more responsive to the community.  He says, there are a lot of good things in place already to build on.  "What I find in this building and beyond is people who really care about their community who want to do a better job doing what they can.  I want to hear what their concerns are and we'll respond accordingly."

 

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