SB Police Chief, Council discuss problems with recruiting - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

SB Police Chief, Council discuss problems with recruiting

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South Bend leaders are reacting to a violent milestone. The latest shooting, Monday night, marked the 30 in the city this year. There have been seven homicides since January 1.

The South Bend Common Council's Health and Public Safety committee met Tuesday and a big concern that came up is manpower on the police force.

"We are down significantly, I think significantly, In terms of our manpower, and that compromises our ability to do our function, our mission," says South Bend Police Chief, Ron Teachman.

Teachman says what's particularly troubling is recruiting. He says out of a pool of about 90 initial candidates, after a number of rounds of testing, they're down to about 16. "We had 80 people scheduled for an agility test up at Notre Dame on a Sunday, 40 showed up," he says.

Teachman says the department has expanded their recruiting efforts. He says some quality candidates who are already certified simply chose to work for another police department. He's suggesting maybe a study be done to see how competitive South Bend is in terms of salaries and benefits. He also suggested potentially offering some bonuses for officers who recruit.

As South Bend hits 30 shootings so far this year, members of the health and public safety committee are concerned about manpower.

Retired cop, Councilman Derek Dieter is working to get the Council involved in recruiting new officers.  "They're 14 short already, it's hard to find recruit,s so I challenge every Council member to find an applicant," says Dieter.

As the chair of the Health and Public Safety Committee, Councilman Dieter suggests the Council look at additional funding to attract more officers, and protect the people of South Bend during this, so far, violent year.
 
"We can't go out and make the arrests and do the work, but we're asking all these different entities with the police department, 'what do you need from the council for us to help you out?'" says Dieter.

Another way the Council is working to curb violence;Council memberss Dieter, Tim Scott and Karen White are soon going to be riding bikes throughout neighborhoods talking with folks and hearing about their concerns about violence.





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