Community Police Review Board seeks diverse applicants

NOW: Community Police Review Board seeks diverse applicants

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - A move to add trust back between the police and the community has begun. The Community Police Review Board in charge of keeping the department accountable and transparent is now taking applicants.

This board is a long time in the making. There were many town halls in 2019 and 2020, before the pandemic, where public officials met with the community to hear what changes need to happen.

This board just being one topic.

But now it is finally coming to fruition and the Common Council just has to appoint the right people.

Of course, there was controversy surrounding the hire of the director of the board, Josh Reynolds, and some expect that same backlash with the community members set to be on the board later this year.

"We may have the greatest police department in the world, but right now the city does not feel that way, the community does not feel that way and we want to help heal that," Josh Reynolds, the Director of the Community Police Review Board said.

Just two years after an officer-involved shooting shook South Bend and countless changes within the south bend police department and its policies thereafter, there now is finally a way for the community to feel heard.

“We will have 1 board member per district and 3 at-large members as well," Reynolds said.

The Community Police Review Board is now accepting applications. Its purpose: to bring transparency, accountability, and trust in the police back.

Transparency has seemingly already begun as Reynolds and the city have created a Facebook, Twitter, and even web page for the review board.

“We want to be, again just as transparent as possible and we do that through data, we do that through sharing information and I want to be able to do that and meet people where they are at. Online, through social media and in the community," he said.

To apply - you have to live in South Bend and not currently work as a police officer.

"This is a very complex issue and there are many voices here, many perspectives and you may have different voices that may speak louder but they don’t represent everyone so that’s why we need a diverse group with wide backgrounds," he said.

Backgrounds having to do with advocacy like veterans, people with disabilities, LGBTQ, diverse races, and genders.

“Oftentimes these boards have failed in different parts of the country because they don’t have representation from those who have put the most work into getting them in place," Black Lives Matter Co-Leader Jordan Giger said.

He said he hopes the right people get appointed and that real change can be made, despite current leadership on the board.

"We hope the board does its due diligence ensuring a fair and accessible process and that they’ll exercise their subpoena power if need be and they will make good recommendations as far as police policy and practices," he said.

Now the tentative timeline for the board to start meeting is September, then they will have to figure out a budget and search for an office in the county city building.

However, applications are open until the end of this month. If you want to apply, click this link.

1. Search for "Community Police Review Board"
2. Then go to "Actions" and click on "Apply".


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