Chris Snyder sworn in as Elkhart's new chief of police

NOW: Chris Snyder sworn in as Elkhart’s new chief of police

ELKHART, Ind. -- The Elkhart Police Department has a new chief of police.

Chris Snyder was sworn in Monday by Mayor Tim Neese.

Mayor Neese announced last week he was appointing Snyder to head the department.

"It was about his experience," said Neese after Snyder was sworn in. "It was about transparency. I know enough about him that he will not be hesitant to disagree with me."

Neese added he felt the pair will work well together. 

Snyder has been with the department for 21 years. He was with the Elkhart County Homicide Unit and had served as the Public Information Officer for several years.

As he steps into the new role, he says his first order of business is to review all the positions in the department. 

"I want to make sure that what we are doing and who is doing it is in the best interest of the department, the city and our community," he said. "If changes need to be made then we'll look at making those changes."

He's also promising amped up community involvement, saying he plans to add more officers to the community policing program. 

"The big thing is to get back out and be involved with the community, to get some of their trust back," said Snyder. "If we're not out there involved in the community, listening to what their problems are and responding to those, then we're failing."

Snyder says transparency is a top priority for him as he leads the department. 

"As things come up, we will be bringing it to the public as opposed to waiting for the public to come get it from us. 

After months of publicized controversy over two Elkhart officers who are now facing criminal battery charges, Snyder says he wants to learn from the past and focus on the future.

"What I am telling you is officers will be held accountable for their actions," he said. 

Snyder will oversee a Department of 160 employees, including 134 sworn officers, and an annual budget of over $20.5 million.

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