Board of Public Safety approves police discipline matrix

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- The South Bend Board of Public Safety has approved the police discipline matrix.

The board unanimously approved the matrix at their meeting Wednesday morning.

The matrix has 6 tiers.

  • The first is for minor violations like tardiness, rude comments, and failure to respond to the radio which is met with different levels of discipline according to the number of times violated, from oral reprimand on the 1st violation to 2-day suspension for the 3rd violation.
  • The second tier has anything from failure to ensure functional recording equipment like body cameras to failure to follow procedures in things like the collection of evidence and can be met with a 5-day suspension for the 3rd violation
  • The third tier has things like loss of evidence, accidental discharge of a weapon, and improve search seizure or entry and can be met with up to a 10-day suspension for 3rd violation.
  • The fourth tier has things like improper use of force with no injury and arrest without probable cause and can be met with up to a 60-day suspension for the 3rd violation.
  • The fifth tier includes improper use of force with injury and racial discrimination and can be met with anything from a 30-day suspension for 1st offense up to termination for the 3rd violation.
  • The 6th tier has anything from deliberate weapon discharge endangering self and others, to abuse of authority and is only met with termination.

“From the very beginning, I have been a proponent of the South Bend Police Department Discipline Matrix. The Board of Public Safety approving it today means the Board, the community, officers and administration will all be on the same page and have the same foundation when it comes to police accountability.

"It is important to remember this is a living document, meaning it will constantly be reviewed and updated if/when necessary, but this is an excellent example of collaborative teamwork. The community, city, police department, legal and others all came together, listened to each other, and made this happen. That type of teamwork is something we all should be truly proud of.” – Police Chief Scott Ruszkowski, South Bend Police Department

Click here to read the full discipline matrix

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