Elkhart’s new police chief says he will focus on accountability and transparency.
Chris Snyder was selected out of 16 applicants. He is a 21 year veteran of the Department. Most recently as a detective in the homicide unit and as the Public Information Officer.
He said his focus will be on restoring trust in the department. “The community in this area has made it abundantly clear that they want transparency and accountability and that is what they’re going to get starting today moving forward.”
“Right now the big thing is to move forward," Snyder said. "We can’t change anything that’s happened in the past and that goes across the board so we need to look at the future and where we’re going and what we need to do to get there.”
The position of police chief is appointed by the mayor. Tim Neese will not be seeking re-election, so Snyder term may only last a year.
“I feel that if I can be here for one year and I can make a difference and I can get things on the right path and we’re moving forward and we’re doing the right things that I should earn the respect of whoever the new incoming mayor is and maybe we continue to move forward down that path.”
Snyder says one of his first goals is to increase community policing and make officers more visible and communicative with those they serve.
Now that Chris Snyder has been sworn in as the new police chief in Elkhart, Mayor Tim Neese is turning his attention toward an outside investigation of the city’s police department.
Two EPD officers are currently being investigated for possible criminal charges after an incident where they beat a man in handcuffs. Other officers are under scrutiny for disciplinary records uncovered by the South Bend Tribune.
Former Police Chief Ed Windbigler was asked to resign over the problems.
Neese said he has two possible companies to do the investigation and is soliciting a third before a decision is made.
“Of those three I’ll select one to then be part of the three entity review," Neese said.
Depending on the cost the investigation may be paid for out of the police department’s budget or he may have to ask for an appropriation from city council.