South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg thinks he has a shot at the White House, but his presidential campaign has been dogged by problems from his own town. Now, there is talk of a “mass exodus” of cops amid skyrocketing crime.
South Bend police officers spoke to Fox News on the condition of anonymity, and they had a damning story to tell.
“When you see the politics and the way police officers are treated by the media and by politicians,” one officer said. “It’s like, why would anyone want to sign up to do this job right now?”
“Morale around here has been terrible,” said another.
“I think you’re going to see a mass exodus. Our administration is a joke,” another anonymous cop predicted.
This couldn’t come at a worse time for Buttigieg. South Bend is in the midst of a substantial rise in crime, and experienced cops fleeing the department in record numbers could be the only match this powderkeg needs.
As South Bend’s WBND, ABC57, reported last week, aggravated assaults are already up 27 percent this year, while auto thefts are being carried out nearly 50 percent more often now.
There are even “vigilante” gunfights in the streets, with citizens fighting back against criminals apparently looking to capitalize on a besieged police department.
“I understand how the police feel, because that’s how we feel right now. We are taking extra security and safety measures in case our lives are in danger,” Sylvia Guevara, a mother of two men who shot back at criminals, told WBND.
“We’ve had shootouts in my backyard! The police have said that they couldn’t do anything because nobody was seriously wounded.”
Her sons were arrested after firing at men who allegedly robbed them. One of the accused robbers was hit and taken to a hospital. The other two got away, but according to WBND, “several guns were found in the alleged robbers’ vehicle.”
“I’m not supporting vigilante behavior, like some people feel,” Sylvia Guevara told the station. “But we have a lot of support for my boys.”
Although the rise in crime is tough to blame on any one thing, Buttigieg’s comments and disrespect for his own police department lie at the heart of his officers’ abysmal morale.
After a South Bend officer-involved shooting gained national attention, Buttigieg refused to defend the police department against accusations of racism. Instead, the mayor said policing needed to be moved “out from the shadow of systemic racism.”
It’s not hard to see where Mayor Pete’s treatment of his police department is taking the streets of South Bend.
If this is how bad it is now, veteran officers handing in their badges will send things spiraling down at a frightening pace.
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