New police disciplinary system postponed

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - The Board of Public Safety on Wednesday postponed a decision on the new disciplinary system for police officers in South Bend.

Board members stated that they are in favor of the new disciplinary matrix system, but think it needs to be developed more before final approval.

They want to make sure every voice is heard, and that everyone is on the same page before moving forward with the new plan.

Kacey Gergely, the Chief of Staff for the Mayor of South Bend said, “We're all here because we care, and we want to make things better, and that compromise is the foundation for making sure every voice is represented to the maximum extent possible.”

The matrix is a chart that categorizes potential violations by police officers and assigns each category a range of penalties.

This is intended to insure all officers are treated the same and to let residents know that action has been taken to discipline the officers.

The concept was created during a series of community meetings following a deadly police shooting, and it incorporates suggestions from community members who gave input on how the department can improve. 

Residents understand the importance of the new matrix, and want to see it implemented, but it is unclear when a final decision will be made regarding the policy.

Resident Nicole McLaughlin said, “We believe (the matrix) is vital for a high standard of policing and that's the standard that our community deserves and demands. This kind of discipline matrix, in our opinion, is long overdue. So we believe this is a very urgent issue.”

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