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New Elkhart police chief promises transparency

January 8, 2019

ELKHART, Ind. (AP) — The new police chief of a northern Indiana city wants to focus on transparency and accountability after his predecessor was forced to resign over questions of department discipline and the beating of a handcuffed suspect by two officers.

Chris Snyder, an Elkhart police veteran of more than two decades, was sworn in Monday as the new head of the Elkhart Police Department. The former homicide detective is replacing police chief Ed Windbigler, who resigned last month.

Windbigler was suspended in November after downplaying the January 2018 beating of a handcuffed suspect. A video shows Officers Cory Newland and Joshua Titus repeatedly punching the man in the face. Windbigler told the city’s civilian oversight commission that the officers, whom he reprimanded in June, “just went a little overboard.”

Newland and Titus were placed on administrative leave in November and have pleaded not guilty to battery charges .

Snyder said the department will quickly and publicly acknowledge mistakes and misconduct going forward.

“I’ve spent a lot of time out in the community over the past 22 years,” Snyder said. “And the community in this area has made it abundantly clear that they want transparency and accountability, and that is what they’re going to get, starting today.”

Snyder is taking the position just 10 months before the mayoral election. Mayor Tim Neese isn’t running for re-election, and the next mayor has the power to appoint a new chief.

“I feel that if I can be here for one year and I can make a difference and I can get things on the right path and we’re moving forward, then I should earn the respect of whoever the incoming mayor is,” Snyder said.

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Information from: South Bend Tribune, http://www.southbendtribune.com

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