Today South Bend FOP Lodge 36 released results of a police survey.
(You can read the release below.)
SOUTH BEND, IN – Today, the South Bend Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #36 announced results from a survey given to all police officers this week.
“Today, the South Bend Police Department is already facing a double-digit officer shortage that’s threatening the department’s ability to operate effectively,” Harvey Mills, South Bend Fraternal Order of Police lodge #36 President said. “Our survey this week showed that a stunning 80% of current officers have recently considered resigning or transferring from the South Bend Police Department. If even 10% of those officers left the force it could cripple the department and lead to the elimination of units that investigate sexual assault and homicide.”
The anonymous online survey was sent to all 220 current officers in the South Bend Police Department and 191 of those officers completed the survey. Nearly 80% of the officers surveyed said they’d considered resigning, retiring, transferring to another department, or otherwise leaving the department.
When asked to rate the morale within the department a majority of officers (40%) said morale was “as bad as it’s ever been” with another 39% rating morale as “poor.” Less than 3% rated morale as good and not a single person said morale was great.
The survey was given to all South Bend officers shortly after the South Bend Common Council reversed a preliminary vote and decided to indefinitely table an increase in a residency stipend and a 2.5% raise for all officers proposed by Mayor James Mueller. That decision, made in response to calls from some protestors to defund the police, further damaged morale. At least one police officer has already retired from the department since that decision.
The South Bend FOP has indicated its willingness to work with the Mayor and the community to improve the department and strengthen its relationship with the community as the city continues to deal with rising gun violence and crime. The FOP has previously said that it’s open to the idea of a citizen’s review board.