Ronald Teachman has been selected as the next police chief of South Bend, Mayor Pete Buttigieg announced today just after 1 p.m.
Over the last couple weeks, the mayor conducted in-person interviews with finalists Christopher Elg, Bruce Marquis and Teachman.
Teachman was their man.
"He looks at all facets of policing – not just making calls and responding to arrests. He has a rich understanding that every police officer is a public figure and a community figure," Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who is attending a wedding in Arizona, said to us in a phone interview on Friday.
"I’m just very happy to have this opportunity," Teachman said Friday. "We'll certainly do everything we can to increase the value of the South Bend Police Department and customer satisfaction in the community."
Teachman is a 34-year veteran of the New Bedford, Massachusetts police department. He was Chief from 2006 until 2011.
“He currently works for The Emergence Group, a Washington, D.C. based company specializing in criminal justice reform in post-conflict and emerging nations,” according to a release a few weeks ago from the mayor’s office. “He has a law degree from the New England School of Law in addition to two bachelor’s degrees.”
Interim Police Chief Chuck Hurley will step down now that Buttigieg has named the new chief.
Teachman replaces former police chief Darryl Boykins, who was demoted in April in the midst of a federal wiretapping investigation into phone recordings at the police department.
Boykins is now a captain on the department.
Council member reaction
Dieter said he looks forward to meeting Teachman, but has some questions for him.
"I look forward to meeting Mr. Teachman and talking with him,” Dieter said. “The council didn't have a chance to talk with the candidates, as the mayor would not provide the Council with contact info, even when we asked. Therefore my research is only what I found on Google, and speaking with a Council person from New Bedford. I have questions and concerns about some issues I found online. I also plan to get some clarification about statements he made to police officers during his visit here on the quality of police officers we have in the state of Indiana and our department. I hope to meet him soon.”
Councilman Fred Ferlic has confidence in Buttigieg's decision.
"I think the mayor and his task force did a thorough search of all the qualifications," he said. Mr. Teachman is an outstanding pick. He's not only a lawyer but he's been involved with the FBI and numerous enforcement agencies. I certainly hope Mr. Teachman can create the best police force in the country"
Concilman Gavin Ferlic weighed in as well.
Councilman Tim Scott also spoke to WSBT.
The Fraternal Order of Police released the following statement in response to the announcement:
"The Fraternal Order of Police has been notified of the selection of Ronald Teachman as the next Chief of Police for the South Bend Police Dept.
"Chief Teachman had a long career with the New Bedford, Massachusetts Police Department. He rose through the ranks to eventually serve as their Chief of Police before retiring in 2011.
"Three current FOP Executive Board members were afforded an opportunity to meet all three candidates to include Chief Teachman. In addition to the scheduled time we met with Chief Teachman he, the only one of the three candidates, made himself available to us again later in the day to discuss Issues surrounding the department as well as letting us get to know him. I believe that speaks positively to his Interest in taking the helm of the South Bend Police Dept. and moving It forward.
"The Fop pledges to work with Chief Teachman in advancing the department to better serve and protect the citizens of South Bend.
"The FOP would also like to acknowledge the contributions made by Interim Chief Chuck Hurley to the department. Chief Hurley came into a difficult situation and brought stability and day to day leadership to the department. We wish him well as he leaves the department."
We will have much more information for you here on WSBT.com and tonight on WSBT News at 5.