Armored police vehicle parked downtown to reduce crime

NOW: Armored police vehicle parked downtown to reduce crime

An armadillo parked in downtown South Bend this weekend is turning heads. Many locals asking: What is it?

“When I first saw it I thought wow-wee they’re getting ready for some unrest,” Arthur Tillis, who lives in the downtown area, said.

The armadillo is a virtually indestructible, refurbished Brink’s armored vehicle. With at least five visible cameras, the vehicle provides 24 hour surveillance with 360 degree coverage.

Police say the armadillo is parked off of Michigan and Washington streets downtown because of issues in the area, mainly after the bars are closed.

Just down the street from the Armadillo is McCormick’s bar where business owners said a bench was thrown through the window a few weeks ago.

The vehicle is part of an initiative by the South Bend Police Department to reduce crime and improve quality of life for residents. Some locals say it makes them feel safer.

 “It shows everyone’s appearances and stuff and when people are out they can always go back to a camera and find out what really happened,” Raymond Tamborski, who lives in downtown South Bend, said.

Others in the area don’t share the same feelings.

 “It doesn’t make me feel any safer than I have been it’s just another armored vehicle,” Tillis said.

 “I feel like it would be better if there was an actual person there and not just a beefed up truck,” Malachi Adcock said, a Bethel College student.

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