Order issued by South Bend Police Chief regarding body-worn cameras

SOUTH BEND, Ind. —  South Bend Police Chief Scott Ruszkowski issued an order under the direction of Mayor Pete Buttigieg, confirming the city’s expectation that all officers are required to keep body cameras activated when engaging with civilians per the South Bend Police Department’s duty manual:

“Officers should activate their body cameras during all work-related interactions with civilians. 

This Order reminds all personnel of our Body Camera Activation Policy #424.6 and the expectation that all enforcement and investigative contacts, traffic stops (including back-up), field interviews, and self-initiated contacts shall be recorded. 

This includes non-emergency call responses and any time there is civilian contact in relation to a complaint. 

Please see your Division Chief if you have any questions.”

“In the wake of Sunday’s shooting, we must acknowledge the hurt and honor the humanity of all involved in this loss of life,” said Mayor Pete Buttigieg. “We also have a responsibility to take every step that can promote transparency and fairness, both in dealing with the recent incident and looking towards the future. This step is intended to confirm community expectations that police encounters with civilians will be recorded. For years, our community has been working to strengthen trust between residents and officers through community engagement, technologies like body-worn cameras, transparency with police information, and other measures. This work must continue with more urgency than ever as we move forward together in the wake of the hurt caused by what took place on Sunday.”

The South Bend administration reminds residents of the availability of a website which has useful information regarding policing, public safety and policies regarding the use of body-worn cameras. The website can be found here.

Mayor Buttigieg will be addressing new officers and their families Wednesday at 9:15 a.m. at the Board of Public Safety swearing-in ceremony held at the South Bend Police Department.


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