Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Not a Question, but Thanks
DS from South Bend sent me a comment that I will post and share this week, in light of fellow officer Cpl Kelly Waite being injured this week when he was shot in the line of duty. We have a dangerous job and it is nice to hear from residents who think we do okay out there.

I just want to thank all (dispatchers and police) for trying to keep our streets safe. Keep up the good work and please try to stay safe yourselves.

Thanks DS, we appreciate it.

By the way, the SBPD Ask A Cop column is now six months old this week. Thanks to residents who have used to forum to get your questions asked and to help us share the information!

See you all next week!
posted by South Bend Police Department @ 9:28 PM  
Yielding Right of Way with Signage
Q: I was curious- if you pull up to a red light and you are turning right and there is a yield sign do you have to come to come to a complete stop as well as yield the right of way?

A:I am assuming you are referring to a situation where there is a yield sign on a right turn lane, usually with a traffic light. The traffic light is the predominant traffic control device, then the regulatory sign. So in other words, the light is the mainly follwed signal. The yield sign dictates you are still required to yield (or stop) for oncoming traffic from the roadway you are trying to enter. IC 9-21-8-31 covers this for you.
posted by South Bend Police Department @ 9:22 PM  
Health Requirements for Officers
Q: I have a pacemaker and I was wondering if that will stop me from becoming a police officer? Also how can I get involved in civilian police programs like neighborhood watch?

A: Physical fitness standards for the most part are determined by the state's requirements for being an officer in the state of Indiana. If you are capable of meeting the fitness standards, then a pacemaker should not preclude you from this. In addition a list of police officer job requirements are listed in the officer application, available online to download on our JOBS page, or by visiting our recruiting office.

As for civilian programs, more information on programs we offer can be found here. If you would like more information on Neighborhood Watch in your area, contact our crime prevention unit.
posted by South Bend Police Department @ 9:17 PM  
Carrying an Impact Weapon
Q:Is it legal to carry a small asp baton (less than 12" extended) on my person in public? If so, are there any places where it is prohibited?

A: Indiana has no specific law prohibiting carrying of impact weapons, however an impact weapon's use CAN be considered deadly force if used in certain areas (head, neck, vital organs, etc). Our officers are certified and trained in the use of batons and related impact weapons. Carrying and use of an impact weapon if not properly trained could result in serious consequences, and while not deemed "illegal", is considered not recommeded if you are not properly trained in baton use.
posted by South Bend Police Department @ 8:06 PM  
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
Text message threat
Q: I have a couple of questions for you. First, how easy is it to be hired by the SBPD and do I have a better chance being a MP in the Army Reserves? My other question is, I have this former friend of mine and he was dating this girl that was also a really good friend who I was involved with too. Later I had this text from him saying that he was going to jump me and mess up my property, but in more aggressive words. I saved the texts in my phone and I was wondering if I filed a police report what would happen? How would they make sure he does not show up and try anything stupid? And will he get any punishment at all? Thanks.

A: As for getting hired, it is a very competetive process. College, military experience, and volunteerism are all things that are looked at favorably to help you advance. As for joining the military, I can't answer what your chances are. Why not try for both? Be sure to check out the FAQs on our jobs page, which may help too.

As for your other question, with the basic facts you present, a basic police 'incident report' may be taken, primarily based upon what *may* happen. This report is typically just held in our computer system to serve as a official documentation of the incident, and often no further follow up is done. Unless another criminal act occurred, this would typically be all the action that would be taken for this type of incident.

To report a threat, some basic criteria is looked at- what specifically is said? is there specific information on means, time, method, etc.? Have you had violent encounters in the past? My suggestion in your case is to save the texts as documentation in case it would be needed later, and avoid contact (phone, text, face to face, etc) with the party.
posted by South Bend Police Department @ 9:38 PM  
Another Loud Noise Question
Q: What can be done about a large number of people making too much noise (car radios)and drinking?

A: On private property loud gatherings and unreasonable noise violation ordinances may be enforced as I mentioned here last week. Drinking on ones property, assuming it involves adults, is not necessarily a violation of law. If noise violations are taking place, you may call 235-9201 to request an officer for contact.
posted by South Bend Police Department @ 9:32 PM  
Using a Dependants SSN Illegally
Q:What i can do to my daughters father legally for obtaining her social security number from somewhere. I never gave it to him. He obtained it and used this on his tax refund to pay back child support. I want to press charges and know how to file a police report. Since he has done this I have to go through a long process to get my own refund from the IRS>

A:From the IRS: If someone files their Federal tax return themselves electronically or through a tax service electronically and the return rejects because someone has already used their SSN or has claimed their dependent using the dependent's SSN, they can file a paper return with the Internal Revenue Service for their Federal taxes and it will go through the system and be processed. The system will catch the duplicate use of the SSN’s and will be pulled for correction. The victim along with the other taxpayer will then be contacted by the Internal Revenue Service Campus, servicing their area, for proof of claiming the dependent. The ineligible taxpayer will have to file an amended return taking off that dependent and will face penalties and other actions as deem appropriate.

If the taxpayer has any other questions, they can contact the IRS hotline at 1-800-829-1040. If they would like to report it for fraud, they can call the IRS Fraud Hotline at 1-800-829-0433.
posted by South Bend Police Department @ 9:29 PM  
Thursday, March 08, 2007
Investigation Follow Up
Q: How can a person who was a victim of a violent crime find out the status of an investigation?
Our son was shot in 2005 and was able to identify the assailant. He was interviewed only one time by a sergeant of the SBPD, and I have not had contact since. We would like for someone to be held responsible for his hospital bills.

A: I would suggest that you contact the detective assigned to your case again, who you already spoke to. If you are unable to contact the detective, or are unsure who that is, you may contact the Investigative Division at 235-9263 and you can get connected to to proper person. Your case may also remain open or unsolved, in which case more information or other factors may be keeping the case open, in which case the case cannot be reviewed by the prosecutor for prosecution purposes. Your case detective can assist you further with the status information.
posted by South Bend Police Department @ 12:04 PM  
Tuesday, March 06, 2007
Bench Warrants
Q: How do "bench warrants" work? There has been a bench warrant out for the father of my child for almost two years now as he is behind in child support. As far as I can tell, the police/sheriff has only gone to his house ONE TIME, knocked on the door, and the person who answered said he wasn't there. In this case, the warrant is Hendricks County (IN).

A: A bench warrant is an order issued by a judge for the arrest or for the apprehension of an individual who has committed some contempt against the courts. When a person fails to appear in court as required, the judge may issue a bench warrant authorizing his/her arrest. A bench warrant orders the police to find the offender, arrest them, and bring them before the issuing judge to answer the charge of contempt.

A bench warrant is issued for the sole purpose of apprehending an individual who has violated an order or requirement of the court. In this way, a bench warrant is different from an arrest warrant. Both of which are ordered by a judge and both authorize the arrest of an individual for legal violations. Arrest warrants, however, are issued for the arrest of a person suspected of committing a crime, whereas a bench warrant is issued for violations of court obligations.

I know in St Joseph County, warrants are served and handled through the Warrants division of the SJCPD. I can't answer for out of this county, but if you know his location I would suggest to call the Hendricks County Sheriffs Dept and advise them of his location (home and work) if known, so he may be served.

Warrants of this type are for pickup and detention after a person has failed to show up for a court hearing, but do not authorize officers to boot in the door and perform a 'search warrant' style entry, so if they may have been told he was not there, and were not given permission to enter the residence, then that is all officers would likely have had authority to do.
posted by South Bend Police Department @ 3:24 PM  
Next Hiring Dates?
Q: I was wondering if your department plans on having an academy anytime soon. I was on your recruiting section, but didn't see any future dates. Thank you.

A: The SBPD does not hold our own academy. All new hires are sent to the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy for academy training, then you are placed into a 15 week Field Training Program (FTO) before you are assigned on your own. As for the next upcoming testing dates for the hiring process, these are held as hiring conditions and the available applicant pool dictates. Typically tryouts are held 2-3 times a year. You would need to have your application submitted and you will be contacted via mail when the next testing dates are due. If you have any other questions, please check our jobs page, or call our Training & Recruiting Office at 574-235-7529. Good luck!
posted by South Bend Police Department @ 3:18 PM  
Loud Neighbors
Q: Last year I heard that a noise ordinance law had passed regarding cars or homes playing loud music. There were fines that would be given and increase per incident. My neighborhood is very noisy and it is difficult to sleep at times as well as just keeping my sanity due to a constant noisy environment. This morning I phoned dispatch regarding a neighbor who has two barking dogs. She informed me I would need to contact Animal Control. I questioned the noise ordinance law and she informed me there is no such law. I searched the City of South Bend home page and cannot find such ordinance in place. Does this mean anyone who desires peace and quiet will now have to endure noise from disrespectful people with no concequences to their actions?

A: City Ordinance 13-57 covers loud and "unreasonable" noise, and is enforcable in these circumstances. For animal related problems, you should contact the South Bend Animal Control as they are responsible for the enforcement of animal noise problems and other animal issues.
posted by South Bend Police Department @ 3:04 PM  
Juveniles and Handguns
Q: I was wondering when a juvenile is convicted of possession of a hand gun how long or what is the estimate amount of they they spend in JJC detention, because my friend's son has been locked up for some time.

A: Possession of a handgun in Indiana is typically a class A Misdemeanor, but in some cases could be a Felony charge. Charges involving handguns are considered "adult" offenses and are charged and sentenced as such. Depending upon the child's circumstances, he/she may be held in JJC without a "bond" until their trial and/or sentencing date. This could depend upon the time involved until the court date comes up, or on how much of a danger to himself or the community the child may be.
posted by South Bend Police Department @ 2:53 PM  

Welcome to the newly reformatted South Bend Police Department Blog. This blog is an excellent way for us to be more accessible to the public through open communication not typical for law enforcement.

This blog incorporates SBPD related announcements, our popular Ask A Cop feature questions still answered, Twitter updates, and other Crime Prevention related tips you can use.

Take a look at the articles posted on this blog and you’ll find many inform-
ative and interesting topics. We try to cover issues that really affect you such as providing a wide range of safety and crime prevention tips, or explaining some of the mysteries of police work so you have a better understanding of why we do things.

You also get to hear periodically from our guest bloggers such as recruits going through the academies to become officers. “Ask A Cop” is still here, and since 2006 has been very popular with over 360 questions from citizens and our answers posted to date!

Thanks for visiting. If you have any questions or suggestions about the blog, contact us!

About Ask A Cop
The South Bend Police Ask A Cop forum and blog is provided for entertainment purposes only. Content provided is for general information and does not represent an all inclusive answer for every person and every situation.

As such, all content is provided 'as is' and without warranties or guarantees of any kind, either express or implied. Use of this site and reliance on the content is exclusively at the user's risk.

Information provided on or through this site does not constitute legal advice nor legal representation. For these purposes, the user should consult an attorney.

Questions submitted to Ask A Cop are read and reviewed to determine the eligibility of the question for publication.
The South Bend Police Department reserves the right not to answer or post a question, particularly if the content is deemed unacceptable or inappropriate.

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