Sunday, September 30, 2007
Ask a Cop Updates
Whew. I finished a large update of questions online from you, since I have been a bit behind. If you are an online reader I want to apologize for the lack of updates. Most of this month I have been in various training schools and have not had tme to update.

Be sure to take a look at the "September 2007" archives on the right side of the page since the main page you see here holds only the most recent 10 questions and there are several more that are shown here instead. I should be on track with updates now that all of my training schools are finished for the time being.

On a related side note I should also add that since the Tribune is publishing posts from the blog, some of the responses or information may change and be out of date when they are published in the newspaper. If you have a question about a previously answered question, feel free to ask another question here on the forum and I will re-post or email you privately if I can be of assistance.

Cpl Ed Koczan


posted by South Bend Police Department @ 10:29 PM  
Report a Drug House
Q: When a report of suspected drug dealing is given what steps are taken? What can be done to speed the process?

A: Typically the best way to report suspected drug dealing is to contact the Drug task Force line at 235.9406. Because of the nature of this crime, we request that the more information you can provide the better: persons, descriptions, the actual house address or location, tiems of suspected activity (more detailed the better), vehicle descriptions, and even license plate numbers if you can obtain them.
Also, are there dogs or other animals present? Are there children present? Can you tell of the housing conditions are substandard? (trash, electricity, water all working?)

The more detailed and accurate information that can be provided the better to ensure your complaint can recieve the most detailed investigation of the matter. This can include anything from increased uniform patrols of the area, on street investigation by patrol officers, NEST unit surveillance, and even up to MSOS/Narcotics officers attempting to investigate or make purchases to build a case to shut down the operation.

If you are interested in taking back your neighborhood, I wncourage you to speak with your other neighbors and report this information together to be most helpful. Drug houses are often difficult operations to infiltrate and shut down, and often an investigation can take anywhere from one to six months. What we as police need is neighborhood cooperation, and patience to help rid your area of this activity.


posted by South Bend Police Department @ 9:45 PM  
Carrying a Sword?
Q: I wanted to know what is the law on carrying swords in public if there is no criminal intent or violent behavior behind carrying them?

A: While most knives are not regulated by state law, in general, "swords" are not designed as a weapon designed for standard carry, and as with any knife or edged weapon, does have deadly potential. if a situation is deemed the manner or circumstances are such that it is determined to be a danger to public safety you could face weapon confiscation or arrest. There is no good logical reason to "carry" a sword in public that I can think of.


posted by South Bend Police Department @ 9:41 PM  
Weapons Carry with Misdemeanor Conviction
Q: I accepted a plea bargain in 2003. It was a felony treated as a Misdemeanor. My question is, if my felony is treated as a misdemeanor does that prevent me from getting a license to carry gun permit? And how does it show up on a criminal background check? as a Felony or a Misdemeanor. I feel as though this may have prevented me from getting certain types
of jobs also.

A: you did not specify your conviciton or offense so I cannot answer for sure. I guess the answer in your case is "it depends". Certain misdemeanor offenses will preclude you from obtaining a weapons permit in Indiana as well. More info on the state law is found here.


posted by South Bend Police Department @ 9:38 PM  
Funeral Procession Right of Way
Q: I was wondering if there is a law pertaining to passing a funeral procession. I know that you stop and let them proceed through a stop sign or traffic light, but are you suppose to stop your car and let them go past if they are going in the opposite direction. Two times this summer, all of the cars stopped until they passed.

A: There is. Indiana Code 9-21-13 covers funeral processions and states that funeral processions have the right of way in traffic. This should imply that the right of way should be given across the entire roadway, for the length of the procession (cars with flags or headlights illuminated)


posted by South Bend Police Department @ 9:35 PM  
Officers acting when off duty
Q: Recently we had a situation in our neighborhood where there was a dispute between two neighbors. There is a police officer who lives across from the two neighbors involved in the dispute who has become friendly with one of the parties involved. The other neighbor
found it necessary, at some point during a recent weekend, to contact the police department regarding a situation with an adult child of one of the neighbors. The police officer heard it on his radio and came over to let the offending neighbor know that the police had been called and then stayed to discuss and belittle the people who had been offended. Is this ethical behavior for a police officer and should the offended party have mentioned this behavior to the officer called when he arrived?
The arriving officer was extremely professional and courteous.

A: That is a difficult question to answer with only the limited information you have mentioned. You did not mention the officer's agency and the circumstances of the "dispute". Officers are considered to be police officers 24 hours a day, and although most officers do not act as an officer when off duty, if there is a situation outside your door, often the officer will act to attempt to keep peace within our own neighborhoods. As for them "belittling" the people who called, I cannot answer because I was not there and only have a limited recap of the circumstances.


posted by South Bend Police Department @ 9:27 PM  
Boxing League
Q: i herad a rumor that there is a boxing league for teens that starts this fall and i want to know if its and if it is how much does it cost and what I need to do to sign up?

A:The South Bend Police Boxing Club program had its first season last year and is scheduled to take place again. Check out our Boxing page on our website or contact South Bend Police Dept. Div. Chief Darryl Boykins at 574.235.9311.


posted by South Bend Police Department @ 9:22 PM  
Close Calls
Q: I'm in my office and a woman almost got away with my wallet. We had a man wandering around last week. Should these "close calls" be reported to you?

A: I woudl suggest that these be reported to the manager or building officials to try to improve security measures within the building. As police, we can typically document loss by theft for insurace purposes if a report is needed, however you can contact and request an officer through our non emergency number (235-9201) if you feel the situation would be worthy of speaking to an officer about.
posted by South Bend Police Department @ 9:05 PM  
Domestic Violence Conviction and Hiring
Q: I was arrested in June of 1999 for Domestic Violence. Since then I have learned that my lawyer I had at that time told me to plead guilty to get out of jail quicker. I am now 26 years old and a lot smarter. My question is that I have always wanted to be a patrol officer since I was a child, but even if I have an expungement, will I ever be able to persue my dreams of being a police officer? After all, I am now qualified for being a Correctional Officer. I am physically fit and would love to protect and serve in your local community.

A: Having a Domestic Violence conviction will preculde you from becoming a police officer, since officer candidates cannot have a misdemeanor conviction involving domestic violence under [18 USC §922 (g)].


posted by South Bend Police Department @ 8:59 PM  
More Loud Noise Questions
Q: Hello, what is the law when it comes to people playing loud music in an apartment building? If I call the police do I have to file a police report. I am a afraid that if I call the police I will be harrased by my neighbors.

A: The city loud noise ordinance applies to apartments as well. You are not required to provide your information when calling to make a complaint, but it is helpful so the officer can speak with you to help you and get more information about the problem, which is then more difficult to enforce if the complainant does not make themselves known.


posted by South Bend Police Department @ 8:55 PM  
"Are you a cop?"
Q:You see this in movies and TV all the time. A criminal is going to engage in a deal with an undercover officer and they ask if he or she is a cop, claiming that the officer would have to answer truthfully by law. I never bought into this but I have always wondered if it was any basis for truth on this subject?

A: In short, there is not a basis for truth if an undercover officer can be endangered by revealing their position during a criminal investigation.
posted by South Bend Police Department @ 8:48 PM  
Setting up your own firing range
Q:We live on a five acre property, and I desired to set up some targets for me to shoot at with a .22 are there any restrictions or rules that I have to follow? Distances to nearest house? I would build an earthen embankment to shoot into.

A: Discharging firearms in the city is prohibited. I see by your address that you are a county resident. I suggest you contact the county police for more clarification on regulations in the county.


posted by South Bend Police Department @ 8:45 PM  
Take Home Cars
Q: First of all I want to compliment you on this web site and especially the article that is in the Tribune. You do a good job and it is very informative.

Recently you answered a question about take home patrol cars and my question is a two part follow up to that topic. First of all can you tell me what % of SB officers live within the city limits of South Bend? In addition can you explain what benefit their is to the citizens of South Bend when an officer is taking a car to their home in Granger or Mishawaka? Thank You.

A: Thanks for reading and the feedback. As for the cars, I don't have statistics on the total number of officers who reside in the city or not, which is considered personal information.

The benefit of having take home cars is that a number of officers (myself included) are in specialty "on call" units and may need to be utilized at any time. In addition, Indiana officers have arrent and enforcement powers anywhere in the state, so officers routinely may stop cars or assist outside agencies countywide. Part of this arrangement is also that officers who do so are usually not compensated for these services when off duty.
posted by South Bend Police Department @ 8:38 PM  
Custodial Rights?
Q:What is the correct way to go about reporting something like violation of custody laws? My daughters father took her for longer than he was supposed to to Chicago, and did not return her when I told him to (I am her custodial parent, he has only visited her now
and again for the past three years)and when I called the police to see if they could order her to be returned, they said as long as his name is on the birth certificate, they can't do anything about it.

A: It is dependent upon the court ordered visitation and custodial arrangements that you have in place with the child's father. If you do not have this spelled out then custodial arrangements are not necessarily legally enforcable. I suggest you contact a civil/family law attorney for more advice on how to proceed in your case.


posted by South Bend Police Department @ 8:34 PM  
Still More Hiring Questions
Q:What is the beginning salary of a patrol officer?

Q: If I am interrested in becoming an officer, can a person do a ride along to ensure that this is something that I want to do?

Q: Hello, I am interested in becoming a South Bend police officer. I will be leaving the army this Dec.(honorably) after three years of sevice(infantry) and one deployment to Iraq. The requirments say that i need a high school diploma. Is there any chance for me to get in with only a GED ?

A: Take a look at our JOBS page for a complete list of salary and benefits!

As for ridealongs, we do not have a formal ridealong program, however as an applicant you are allowed a couple of ridealongs once you reach a certain point in the process to see the city and meet with officers firsthand. Contact the training bureau for more information.

High school graduation requirements will also allow a GED to consideration in the hiring process.


posted by South Bend Police Department @ 8:32 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!

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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.

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