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Is lack of support causing an officer shortage in South Bend?

WSBT 22 photo

The Fraternal Order of Police president says Mayor Buttigieg's lack of support is contributing to the officer shortage in South Bend.

This is according to an article in the South Bend Tribune.

The FOP President says the mayor hasn't done enough when the department was criticized over use of force.

Sgt. Dan Demler says damage to the department's reputation is making hiring new officers difficult.

Responding in an email, the mayor said :

“Police work has never been more difficult or more important. I am proud of the dedication our officers show every day, and we stand by our officers when they do the right thing.

Chief Ruszkowski and I have worked hard to make our department one of the best in the state for compensation, advancement, and support.

We have set high and consistent standards for discipline and do not comment inappropriately on ongoing investigations. Insisting on professionalism benefits morale in the long run, and it's the right thing to do.

My door is always open to the FOP, and I am disappointed to hear concerns expressed in the media when they have not visited me in person to discuss them. I hope we can have a constructive conversation and work together to recruit and retain great officers.”

Buttigieg added that he and the police chief have worked hard to make the department the best in the state.

The department is authorized to have 245 sworn-in officers. They currently have 229.

Eight recruits are training to become South Bend police officers.

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