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BREAKING: SBPD Body Cam Policy Announcement

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John Bazemore/AP Photo
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The spokesman for South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg just issued the following release:

SOUTH BEND POLICE CHIEF ISSUES ORDER CONCERNING BODY-WORN CAMERAS

At the request of Mayor Pete Buttigieg, today South Bend Police Chief Scott Ruszkowski issued the following general order confirming the City’s expectation that per the SBPD duty manual, all officers are to keep their body cameras activated when engaging with civilians:

“Officers should activate their body cameras during all work-related interactions with civilians. 

This Order reminds all personnel of our Body Camera Activation Policy #424.6 and the expectation that all enforcement and investigative contacts, traffic stops (including back-up), field interviews, and self-initiated contacts shall be recorded. 

This includes non-emergency call responses and any time there is civilian contact in relation to a complaint. 

Please see your Division Chief if you have any questions.”

“In the wake of Sunday’s shooting, we must acknowledge the hurt and honor the humanity of all involved in this loss of life,” said Mayor Pete Buttigieg. “We also have a responsibility to take every step that can promote transparency and fairness, both in dealing with the recent incident and looking towards the future. This step is intended to confirm community expectations that police encounters with civilians will be recorded. For years, our community has been working to strengthen trust between residents and officers through community engagement, technologies like body-worn cameras, transparency with police information, and other measures. This work must continue with more urgency than ever as we move forward together in the wake of the hurt caused by what took place on Sunday.”

The City administration reminds the media and the public of the availability of the South Bend Police Transparency Hub, a website containing information on policing and public safety, including policies related to the use of body-worn cameras. The site is at: police-southbend.opendata.arcgis.com.

The Mayor will address new police officers and their families tomorrow at the 9:15 a.m. Board of Public Safety swearing-in ceremony to be held at the South Bend Police Department.

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