A dark cloud has been cast over the South Bend Police Department ever since the investigation that led to the demotion of former chief Darryl Boykins was announced in late March. It's affected officer morale and possibly the way they perform their jobs, said Noonan, president of the South Bend Fraternal Order of Police.
"We're happy it's over," Noonan said last week. "There's been so much back and forth. I think Mayor Pete (Buttigieg) made a good decision to send the tapes on to the U.S. Department of Justice.
"I think my goal for the FOP and for the department is to move on and continue to do what we were sworn to do for the city of South Bend," he added. "My goal is to look out for the officers."
The investigation also led to the firing of 911 communications director Karen DePaepe.
Five cassette tapes, which were the centerpiece of the investigation, are rumored to contain officers making racist comments or illegalcomments.Noonan and other officers who have spoken with The Tribune have acknowledged the investigation has led to low morale.
"Someone (whose home) has been broken into is not concerned about the tapes, they're concerned about their safety," Noonan said. "We have to do what we have to do. It makes no sense going off on conspiracy theories (regarding the federal investigation and tapes) everywhere you turn. I don't think they're there."
Buttigieg said in a phone interview last week the tapes have been forwarded to the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Justice Department, which may have the authority to review them and report back some of the findings. The mayor added he has not heard whether the department will listen to them.
Staff writer Tom Moor: