South Bend Common Council to consider changing hiring process for Community Review Board
SOUTH BEND, Ind.--- The South Bend Common Council is considering a proposal to place the authority to hire and fire the director of the Community Review Board in the mayor's office instead of the city clerk's office. The proposal comes after South Bend City Clerk Dawn Jones refused to fire Community Review Board Director Joshua Reynolds for his controversial past as an Indianapolis police officer.
"It’s been quite disappointing that we’ve had to even take on this task in this matter," said 2nd District Council Member Henry Davis Jr. "The promise of the Citizen’s Review Board was for us to deliver a product that the community could accept without any blemishes."
Community members say the whole situation risks putting a permanent stain on the review board before it even begins.
"I don’t know what it is about background checks that are not through anymore," said Lynn Collier, who lives in South Bend. "I don’t know, it’s going to be interesting to see how it’s resolved."
Although the mayor hires the police chief, Davis says putting him in charge of hiring the director of the board put in place to hold the police department accountable was the council's only option.
"Because of the gaffe that’s taken place with the clerk’s office, we obviously had to go somewhere else," said Davis. 'The other place is the mayor’s office or not have a citizen’s review board that’s by state statute."
Both Davis and Collier agree that the matter needs to be resolved quickly to allow the Community Review Board to effectively do it's job.
"We are looking forward to making sure that this board is effective for the community members of the city of South Bend," said Davis.
"Let’s roll up our sleeves and get busy and get to work and get it established," said Collier.
The measure will be considered at the next South Bend Common Council meeting on Monday.