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Mayor Neese wants independent review of Elkhart Police Department

ELKHART, Ind. -- Elkhart Mayor Tim Neese announced Tuesday he wants an independent review of the Elkhart Police Department, but has not identified who would conduct the review.

Mayor Neese wants an independent review of the department's discipline and use of force.

The mayor says the entity chosen to conduct the review will work with Police Chief Ed Windbigler.

“Officers are expected to perform their duties in a professional manner. I, however, recognize that use of force is part of law enforcement and is often necessary,” Neese said in a press release. “While it is a job that can be rewarding, it is also an occupation that is dangerous, demanding, and stressful. This independent review will help to ensure that when policies are violated, we provide additional training and discipline, as appropriate, to maintain public trust in our police department.”

In addition, police department officials will recommend civilians be added to the Use of Force Board.

 “The majority of police officers who serve this community do so nobly and with the highest level of professionalism,” Neese said. “This has been a disappointing and very unfortunate situation, but it has created an opportunity to improve the Elkhart Police Department.”

The mayor says he has made three inquiries to the Department of Justice regarding a review of the department but has not received a response.

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