South Bend cops warn of ‘mass exodus,’ as morale tanks over Buttigieg handling of shooting

As South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg commands national attention with his media-savvy presidential bid, the firestorm back home over an officer-involved shooting shows no sign of settling soon -- with the mayor facing criticism not only from protesters but police who say his handling has crushed morale and risks a “mass exodus” from the force.

“Morale around here has been terrible. We do nothing,” one police officer, a 20-year veteran of the force, told Fox News. “We call ourselves firemen, we sit around in parking lots until we’re called and then we go to the call, because if you say or do something wrong, then you get hung.”

“At an all-time low,” another officer said of morale. “It’s been really demoralizing and hard to come to work lately.”

Officers requested not to be identified for this story in fear of retaliation by the mayor's administration. But they told Fox News that they know of multiple officers who are considering handing in their badges or taking retirement if eligible, in response to the mayor’s handling of the shooting.

“That's the big discussion ... is who's staying and who's going. I think you’re going to see a mass exodus, our administration is a joke,” one officer said.

South Bend Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) President Harvey Mills told Fox News that he has spoken to five or six officers who are “seriously” considering retiring or resigning because of the administration’s handling of the shooting. One officer told Fox News that he believes as many as 10 people will quit in the next year, and said he has also considered stepping away.

“It’s very discouraging that something I’ve always wanted to do, that God called me to do, that I’m questioning that and wondering, thinking about not being a police officer strictly because of politics and things that are going on that are completely out of my control,” he said.


Read More...