SOUTH BEND – The first South Bend police chief finalist sat down for his interview with Mayor Pete Buttigieg on Monday, sources said. But the Mayor’s office was tight lipped about it and did not make a public announcement specifying when the candidates would be in town.
Christopher Elg, who is currently the chief of police in West Monroe, LA, is the first of three finalists to visit South Bend in the final round of interviews. The mayor’s chief of staff told WSBT that Buttigieg had not met with any of the candidates before this round of interviews.
According to sources, Elg toured the police department and met several officers and civilian members of the department Monday morning. He met with Mayor Buttigieg in the afternoon.
Before moving to Louisiana, Elg served as the public safety director in Van Buren Township, Michigan near Detroit and also as a New York state trooper.
According to published reports, he’s also interviewing for chief jobs in North Dakota and Washington state.
A second candidate’s interview with the mayor and tour of the police department is scheduled to happen Tuesday, sources told WSBT. Ronald Teachman worked his way up through the ranks of the New Bedford, MA police department. He currently works for a Washington D.C.-based company, specializing in criminal justice reform in post conflict and emerging nations.
Published reports say Teachman developed a program to put uniformed police officers in schools on a weekly basis to build a better relationship between law enforcement and the community. Some people felt it would have been better to have those officers on the streets, the reports said.
Friday, the mayor is scheduled to interview Bruce Marquis. He’s been the chief in Hartford, CT and Norfolk, VA and now works as a law enforcement consultant. According to the CBS affiliate in Norfolk, he was forced out of the department because of the way he handled a case in which a police recruit died during training in the police academy after he was repeatedly punched in the head. Marquis was also criticized after he spent confiscated drug money on department equipment.
The PBS station in Norfolk said crime there dropped under Marquis’ command.
Mayor Buttigieg’s Chief of Staff Mike Schmuhl did not return calls and e-mails from WSBT by 5:45 Monday night.
Buttigieg has said he hopes to make his decision and offer one of the finalists his job by the end of the year.
The mayor’s office announced the three finalists in a news release last Thursday. Interim Chief Chuck Hurley has been leading the department since late March when Buttigieg demoted Darryl Boykins to the rank of captain in light of a federal wiretapping investigation into the department.