South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg to host panel on police and community relations

South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg speaks at a press conference Friday, July 8, 2016, on the city's response to the shootings in Dallas, Louisiana and Minnesota. (Photo Supplied/ABC 57)

South Bend’s Mayor wants both his police department and community to come together.

Mayor Pete Buttigieg is hosting a panel comprised of local police, education leaders, and students. The panel will explore how the relationship between the community and police can be strengthened. Topics to be discussed include how the public perceives race, the legitimacy of law enforcement, and the history of race relations between police and people of color, according to a press release from the Mayor’s office.

Panelists include South Bend Police Chief Scott Ruszkowski, Captain Darryl Boykins, and Patrolman Officer Travis Teague.

“What is it that police can do to help our family? What is it that our family needs? What is it that our family wants?” Ruszkowski said. “That’s how we’re going to operate. Come to me with those answers and I will help, and so will my other brothers and sisters that are part of your family, too.”

Those members of the SBPD will be joined by Notre Dame professor Dr. Richard Pierce, Adams High School educator Savino Rivera Jr., Indiana Wesleyan University student Taloni Reese, and Adams High School student William Horton. Director of Staff Diversity Eric Love will moderate the event.

“This is an exceptionally important topic, and South Bend can lead the way in addressing the issues that all diverse communities are facing right now.” Mayor Buttigieg said. “Like every diverse American community, we have a lot of work to do, but our city has shown it is capable of coming together to make progress.”

The discussion will take place at 6:30 p.m on Thursday, September 8 at the Kroc Center at 900 W. Western Avenue.

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