South Bend Common Council Approves Police Salary Raises
On Monday, Oct. 26, the South Bend Common Council voted to raise police salaries by about 9 percent over the next two years. However, some community members would rather see that money go elsewhere.
The Personnel and Finance Committee met Monday afternoon to discuss the wage ordinance and hear public comment.
At that meeting, Black Lives Matter - South Bend member Emmanuel Cannady said that instead of raising police salaries, the city should invest in proactive measures, like de-escalation and intervention training.
“From all the council meetings that I’ve been to, the biggest thing that I’ve heard is ‘We put our money where our values are,’" Cannady said. "Where is that money if we value ourselves to show up proactively in our community?”
Jordan Giger, also of Black Lives Matter - South Bend, suggested the city should open its negotiations with the police union to the public.
“I think if we would have listened to more community members, we probably would have heard more folks argue that that money could be redistributed in such a way that we would be trying to get at root causes of violence in our community,” Giger said.
Sixth District Councilwoman Shelia Niezgodski stressed that the ordinance only concerned police salaries. Any other police funding or reform, she said, would have to come from the Board of Public Safety or one of the council’s working groups.
The council voted 8-1 to pass the wage ordinance Monday night.
If you appreciate this kind of journalism on your local NPR station, please support it by donating here.