Mayor James Mueller is sworn in, talks recent violence in South Bend
SOUTH BEND, Ind. - Right now South Bend has a new leader, Mayor James Mueller was sworn in Wednesday, but hours before the ceremony, a reminder of the hard work he must face - the harsh reality facing the city of South Bend and the ongoing violence.
In the early morning hours of New Year also started off with a shooting outside a downtown bar on Michigan Street.
32-year-old Carrie Jamerson and 28-year-old Salmen Johnson were shot. Jamerson is in the hospital in critical condition. Johnson has been treated and released.
ABC57 spoke to Mayor James Mueller about the shooting and other issues he plans to tackle in office.
“It’s been a long year on the campaign trail and then since November, been trying to get ready for this day,” Mueller said.
James Mueller rang in the New Year by being sworn into Mayor of South Bend, along with City Clerk Dawn Jones and Common Council members, 5 of which who are new to the council.
“It’s an exciting day. It feels great,” he said.
However, just hours before this celebration, there was a shooting in downtown South Bend.
“2101 S. Michigan Street, for a shooting. Female is calling in advising people were shot,” dispatchers said on Broadcastify audio.
Two people were shot, 32-year-old Carrie Jamerson is in critical condition, highlighting the reality of violence in south bend.
But Mueller ran on the platform of keeping South Bend moving forward and he said that is exactly what he is going to do.
“We know violence in our community has no place and one shooting is one too many and this is something that was a focus of our campaign and it’s something we’re going to get to work on right away,” he said.
He said there are several things on the agenda passed on from former Mayor Pete Buttigieg including policies from the Board of Public Safety on body cameras and de-escalation as well as that external review of the South Bend Police Department which should be releasing results soon.
However, he said it’s a community effort through and through.
“Most of the things that we do as a city or even what was successful under Mayor Pete has been community members coming with solutions and figuring out, how do we work together. How can the city partner with the community to make good things happen,” he said.
“Let’s quit with the temper tantrums that are out there. Let’s start communicating in a positive way, just like he said in his speech. That needs to come out in the first 100 days,” Common Council President Tim Scott said.
Also a part of his agenda is reforming education in South Bend, what he calls the “cradle to career approach.”
“Connecting people to opportunities,” he said. “It’s also part of our violence answer in terms of a summer employment program for our youth to make sure they are getting connected to opportunities down the road but also having something to do in the summer when they’re off from school.”
Many are excited to see things change and improve for the better starting out in a new decade.