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South Bend Mayor looking to create new 'public safety' position

“There’s nobody in between that police or fire chief can go to to get a question answered other than The Mayor,” said South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg says he notices a large gap in communication, policy setting and support for local first responders.

“You’ve got a police department, a fire department, we’ve got the new 911 center we’re standing up as well as the EMA, there’re just so many touch points for public safety,” said Buttigieg.

So he’s looking to create an entirely new position, a Director of Public Safety, to fix the issue.

“After several years of kicking it around, this is the year that I’m planning to ask the council for the funding to do it because I think it’s a great moment for us to add that resource,” said Buttigieg.

But first, he has to present the idea to the city council and the police and fire chiefs who will be working so closely with this new person.

“We think it makes sense to have a dedicated, policy-level official who can help navigate that, integrate the work and, above all just support that very important work that goes on in the community,” said Buttigieg.

Mayor Buttigieg says other regional cities have the position and so did South Bend in the past.

“It’s a lot of work and I think we’ll be able to do the best job if we have the right kind of support at the highest levels,” said Buttigieg.

But he’s looking to bring it back, and bring it back right the first time around.

“But I don’t want to get too far ahead of ourselves. First we’ve got to make sure that we’ve crafted the right position description, so that we can get it right the first time,” said Buttigieg.

The Mayor says he plans to present the budget to the City Council on Wednesday, October 4th. He says he’ll be there to answer any questions the public may have for this new position.

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