By Caroline Torie | WSBT 22 (CBS, South Bend)
May 18, 2021
New developments tonight in police-community relations in South Bend. The city has named the new leader of its Community Police Review Board.
Faith leaders are encouraged by the hiring of Joshua Reynolds. Reynolds comes from Indianapolis, where he’s been a certified investigator for two decades.
A South Bend Pastor hopes Reynolds’ experience will lead to results.
“He comes with a lot of experience because our community needs transparency and we need someone like him that is able to conduct discrimination, harassment, misconduct in the workplace whenever and so I think he’s going to do a great job,” said Claval Hunter.
Hunter is the Pastor of the Berean Seventh Day Adventist Church and a member of Faith in Indiana. The organization has been working with city leaders and other local advocacy groups to grow trust, transparency and accountability in the police department.
“We welcome this hire and I think this is another step in a good direction,” said Hunter. “Hiring individuals like this in these positions is rebuilding the trust.”
South Bend’s Community Police Review Board was established by ordinance in October. It will investigate any alleged police misconduct, and through evidence, will make improvement recommendations to SBPD.
The goal is that the process will “enhance accountability and transparency in policing and build community trust”.
Hunter is confident Reynolds’ oversight of the board will help the city reach that goal.
“I think he’s going to have the courage to be able to stand up for what is right. I think he’s going to hold individuals accountable and not be afraid to do so.”
In a statement, Reynolds says: “I am excited for this opportunity to help bring all the South Bend stakeholders together to provide input that will help establish a fair and transparent process in addressing citizen complaints. It is my goal to enhance communication and goodwill between the residents of South Bend and the South Bend Police Department to improve safety and understanding for all.”
We also reached out to South Bend’s Police Chief to bring you his thoughts about the new hire, but he did not have a statement.
Reynolds begins his role on June 7th.