South Bend Residents Meet With Officers To Discuss Police Recruitment
South Bend residents met with officers Thursday night to give input on the City’s police recruitment process.
Some common concerns discussed were the lack of diversity in South Bend’s police department and the shortage of applicants overall.
Tim Lancaster is the Support Division Chief of the City’s police department. He said there are a few ways to increase applicant numbers - one is getting the community involved.
“A goal is to have a police department that’s representative of your community and that’s something here in South Bend that we really want to see happen," he said. "In order to get to that point you need the help of the entire community. It can’t just be the police department.”
Lancaster also says police departments across the country are struggling with recruitment.
South Bend is trying to reduce the shortage by starting a new initiative called the “Homegrown Project.”
It’s supposed to increase diversity and encourage people in the community to apply.
It would include outreach to the community, benefits for young people intending to join the force, and provide a bridge for the three year gap between the high school cadet program and the age to legally apply.
The last meeting is a recap and discussion about next steps. It’s on Thursday September 19th at the Charles Black Community Center.
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