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Mayor-elect James Mueller set to take office January 1

NOW: Mayor-elect James Mueller set to take office January 1

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SOUTH BEND, Ind.—Mayor-elect James Mueller was live in ABC57’s studio on Monday to discuss the upcoming start of his new position.

The afternoon of January 1 will be Mueller’s first day as South Bend Mayor.

Mueller said that one of his biggest priorities is “getting the right people in the right places.”

“After that, we’re looking to do what we talked about on the campaign trail,” Mueller said. “Really it’s all about taking our growth that we’ve started to achieve over the last eight years and take it to the next level and make sure it’s spread widely so everyone can take part in it.”

Mueller also commented on a recent incident involving an encounter with police. The encounter was live streamed on Facebook, showing an officer saying a quote from a movie.

Some people online called the quote “racist” and want an investigation.

The South Bend Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #36 said the officer just made a “dumb movie reference” with just other officers in the room and there’s no reason to investigate.

“There is clearly a bigger gap in where the community is and where the police department is in terms of trust. This is a symptom of that. One of the key parts we need to make progress on is making sure that we have the systems in place so that our community has trust in it and our officers have trust in it,” Mueller said.

Mueller said that the 21st Century Policing study started by Mayor Pete Buttigieg is currently performing an audit on the South Bend Police Department and recommendations will be available in the new year.

“We’ve got to have a lot of honest dialogue. These types of incidents get blown up when there’s an underlying lack of trust,” Mueller said.

Mueller said that he’s gotten a lot of advice from Buttigieg but also says the two are very different people.

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