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Council tables salary increase for South Bend Police

NOW: Council tables salary increase for South Bend Police

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SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- During a committee meeting before the South Bend Common Council meeting Monday afternoon, members voted to table the proposed salary increase for South Bend Police.

One member, Jake Teshka, was against tabling the ordinance because he believes officers have earned the raise.

"I see in our officers a hope," Teshka said. "They turn that hope into action in our community as they come off a double shift and still volunteer their time as a coach. They mentor students. They buy food for hungry folks out of their own pocket. They support single mothers, and they still somehow reserve enough energy for their own families. So, I believe that they deserve our honor, and they deserve this pay raise."

The council also voted to table the ordinance establishing a citizen's police complaint board until June 22 to give Council more time to better layout the training members of that board would have to go through.

Councilman Troy Warner said it was also important to reiterate that the citizen's police complaint board would only have the authority to make recommendations to the Public Safety Board which would then choose whether or not to follow the recommendation.

Council's decision was not what everyone wanted.

"I think they should just have it now and all vote 'No' on it instead of just putting it off for now and bringing it up again later when they think that the heat has died down, but they just need to vote no on it," said Josefine Eskildsen, one of many people protesting the possible pay raise for the police department outside the City County Building on Monday.

Others in that protest wanted the raise to come with more accountability.

"If we are going to consider pay raises for police officers in South Bend, we make sure that if people are paying them more, there is a level of accountability to that money," Drew Duncan of the South Bend Chapter of Black Lives Matter said. "That goes with any job. When you are asking for a raise, typically people want more responsibility out of you. So, one of the responsibilities that the African American Community is asking for is for people not to be wrongfully profiled."

The decision to table the vote on the citizen's police complaint board passed unanimously and will be brought up again on June 22nd.

The South Bend Police Department pay raise was tabled indefinitely so the Common Council can have the in-depth discussion about the measure it says it needs before rendering a final decision.

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