South Bend Candidates For Mayor Differ Over Solving Problems With Violence
SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Both candidates for mayor in South Bend are talking about how they can make Hoosiers in the St. Joseph County city feel safer.
But, Democrat candidate James Mueller and Republican candidate Sam Haas, have different ideas on how to accomplish that. Mueller, like his fellow Democrat and current Mayor Pete Buttigieg, believes attacking the root cause of the divide between the community and the city's police department, which he says is "systemic racism."
"We have a lot more work to do to bridge the community and the FOP than we would've liked," said Mueller. "Violence has no place in our community, and we all must double our efforts to stop the violence."
Haas believes Mueller is "pulling the race card" and using it as a cop-out. He said his solution is creating better civilian oversight.
"My opponent is hiding behind his terminology to excuse his lack of results as a member of the current administration and their service to our minority communities," Haas said. "I am proposing increased civilian oversight and more community policing through dedicated officers who can coordinate between neighborhood associations and proactive policing."
The South Bend Fraternal Order of Police has unanimously endorsed Haas for mayor. In spite of that, Mueller said if he wins 27 days from now, he believes he can still work with the FOP to help improve the police department's relationship with the community.