Sunday, October 12, 2008
Trouble as a Minor Preventing Hiring?
Q: I have been in the Army for 5 years, and I was interested in a career with the police dept. When I was a minor I got into trouble using marijuana. I was wondering if getting into trouble as a juvenile would bar me from becoming a police officer?

A: As the requirements on our Jobs page indicates, minor experimental use of marijuana is not necessarily grounds for ineligibility. Juvenile "troubles" may not preclude you from being a candidate, however ANY and all circumstances of illegal conduct should be disclosed on your applications and interviews. Omission of seemingly minor or embarrassing details is a lead disqualifier of candidates. Complete disclosure and honesty, combined with a clean record as an adult is your best bet. You can contact our training and recruiting office if you have a more specific question. Good luck to you!

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posted by South Bend Police Department @ 8:53 PM  
Criminal Justice Project
Q: I am doing this as a project for my introduction to criminal justice. I have a couple of questions: How many officers are in your department. How many of the officers work road patrol. How many females and males work road patrol in their agency?

Also should police officers enforce the law equally in all situations? Explain. In what types of situations should police officers be allowed to not enforce the law? If you could give an example and explain.

Last, but not least, in what types of situations should they be required to fully enforce the law? Explain.

A: Much of the basics of your questions you can find by perusing our website. Right now we have 260 sworn officers, with about 155 of them are assigned to street patrol duties. As for your research project questions, I would suggest that you come up with the specific examples of a scenario for me and I will try to tackle them for you, from a LEO perspective, privately. Good luck to you!
posted by South Bend Police Department @ 8:47 PM  
Restoring Weapons Permit with my Felony Conviction?
Q: How I would go about getting my right to possess a firearm restored under IC 35-47-4-7. I live in Elkhart and have an A felony conviction from 2004.

A: Since your 'A' Felony conviction precludes you from obtaining a weapons permit, your criteria must be within the guidelines of the statute:
(b) Not earlier than five (5) years after the date of conviction, a person who has been convicted of a crime of domestic violence may petition the court for restoration of the person's right to possess a firearm. In determining whether to restore the person's right to possess a firearm, the court shall consider the following factors:
(1) Whether the person has been subject to:
(A) a protective order;
(B) a no contact order;
(C) a workplace violence restraining order; or
(D) any other court order that prohibits the person from possessing a firearm.
(2) Whether the person has successfully completed a substance abuse program, if applicable.
(3) Whether the person has successfully completed a parenting class, if applicable.
(4) Whether the person still presents a threat to the victim of the crime.
(5) Whether there is any other reason why the person should not possess a firearm, including whether the person failed to satisfy a specified condition under subsection (c) or whether the person has committed a subsequent offense.
(c) The court may condition the restoration of a person's right to possess a firearm upon the person's satisfaction of specified conditions.


Depending upon your situation and your rather serious Felony conviction, you will need to petition the courts for this. I suggest you seek legal counsel on the procedures and the particulars of your conviction to see if you are eligible.

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posted by South Bend Police Department @ 8:40 PM  
Furniture broken during drinking party?
Q: There was a party at our residence and things were broken and destroyed in our apartment.. The police were called and a report was written on the kid that started it. In the report nothing was said about the broken and destroyed property. Now today we confronted him and told him we need money to pay for the damage and refuses to pay for it-is there something i can do to get him to pay for the damages?

A: I will first mention this question is being asked from out of state, so your state laws, and the facts of the incident may not apply. Generally speaking, if the damage was caused accidentally during the party, or even in some malicious cases, your best bet would be to file a small claims court case to recover the repair or replacement cost. Locally this may be done at the St Joseph County courthouse.

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posted by South Bend Police Department @ 8:05 PM  
Old Ammunition Disposal?
Q: I was going through a deceased relative's things when we discovered a large amount of 22 caliber bullets. They must be over 40 years old. How or where can I dispose of these?

A: City residents (three or four digit address) may drop off this ammunition to the front desk of the police department during regular business hours and it can be properly disposed of, as this is done at periodic intervals by our Bomb Squad technicians.

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posted by South Bend Police Department @ 8:02 PM  
Public Police Reports
Q: Are police reports public records?

A: Yes, to an extent. Certain information and records may only be obtained through filing a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Request through the city legal department, which will be reviewed and approved. Some case reports (where you are a named person) or crash reports are more easily obtainable.

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posted by South Bend Police Department @ 7:56 PM  
Tinted Tail Lights
Q: I have heard conflicting reports about the legality of tinted tail lights. While I have seen them all over, I don't know if they're illegal no matter what or if they can be legal if meet a certain visibility standard. What does Indiana state law say about this issue?


A: IC Code 9-19-6-4 requires a taillight to "emit a red light plainly visible from a distance of five hundred (500) feet to the rear". Obviously a tinted taillamp cover over them will diminish this light output and may result in you being cited for improper taillamp display. These covers are clearly sold as "not for on road use" and your use of them improperly can certainly result in a fine that will actually cost more than the lens covers are!

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posted by South Bend Police Department @ 7:53 PM  
Neighborhood Problem
Q: We have new neighbors that own a pit bull. I have called Animal Control to make sure I understand what they are supposed to do to insure the safety of the neighborhood. I was told she is supposed to have the dog in a kennel with a top when the dog is outside. She does not do this and I have reported her for this. Yesterday, she came to my door and confronted me about someone that has been call animal control. I did not say I called, but admitted that I have a problem with her dog running loose in her yard and not in a kennel as she has been instructed. She got very angry and wouldn't listen to my concerns about my families safety so I closed the door. She continued making threats about me keeping my dog quiet. I feel very scared that she will do something to retaliate.

A: The dangerous animal ordinance regulates the care and licensing and is handled through Animal Control as you mention. As for your neighbor being difficult, the advice I would suggest is to maintain avoiding contact if you feel that you can not reasonably work out the differences with the dog. If she were to make a false police report, as your email continues on, she can be found in violation of the Indiana law on False Reporting and possibly prosecuted. Until that time, there is not much else advice wise you can do, other than documenting these encounters (saving voice mails, recording conversations, etc) in case it does become a problem for you later.

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posted by South Bend Police Department @ 7:43 PM  
Reporting Narcotics Activity
Q: I was wondering what could be done about residents living in a rental home next door who I suspect have drugs in their home? One night while I was in my home I overheard these two 19 year old girls talking about their side yard being "a good place to smoke our blunt". There is also a lot of traffic that goes in and out of the house. I do not suspect they are selling it but the home is starting to turn into a party house and that is not what our neighborhood is like. Any suggestions?


A:Sure. You can report suspected drug sales/activity to our Drug Tip Line at 235-9406. Try to establish a pattern if possible- times that activity is heaviest- any persons known to the residence, vehicle and license plates are all VERY helpful in trying to further this type of investigation!

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posted by South Bend Police Department @ 7:39 PM  
Mentally Ill Purchasing Guns
Q: I have a 20 year old brother that lives in South Bend and he is thinking on buying a gun. Since he found out it is very easy to obtain one he is planning to buy one. My family and I believe he is in a depressed stage right now and don't think he should buy one. He does not listen to us so I thought if there is any way to restrict my brother from buying a gun?


A: This is a difficult question to answer due to the fact that Indiana is one of about 30 states that does not disclose mental health issues to the FBI when it comes to criminal investigations as part of firearms sales. After the death of Cpl Nick Polizotto, WBST did a feature story on this concern: http://www.wsbt.com/news/local/18160669.html

However right now it is difficult to take these steps to prevent him from obtaining one as the law stands. I would suggest contacting legislators and try to lobby for change.
posted by South Bend Police Department @ 7:09 PM  

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