South Bend Common Council votes to dedicate five officers to Special Victims Unit

SOUTH BEND, ind. --- More officers are joining the special victims unit thanks to a new agreement between the City of South Bend, Mishawaka, and St. Joseph County.

The resolution which was passed by South Bend Common Council members at a meeting Monday night will add a total of five officers to the Special Victims Unit.

Each council member voted in favor of this ordinance with the exception of Troy Warner who omitted his vote due to his involvement in the legal drawing of this agreement.

Despite this, each council member expressed this would be a good use of city funds to ensure a safer community this year.

The agreement calls for the South Bend Police Department to supply two uniformed sworn-in officers and provide funding for three officers who would be deputized by the sheriff or prosecutor.

The goal of the agreement is to address ongoing staffing shortages that police chief Scott Ruszkowski says was the cause of disbanding the Metro Homicide unit late last year.

“We had to take drastic measures and part of the measures was dissolving metro homicide unit and the family violence unit as it was, but actually revamped and revisited and refreshed quite frankly the family violence unit to be hopefully meet everyone’s needs. And, we’ve been doing well so far since we took over on October 15th," said Chief Ruszkowski.

The St. Joseph County Council is scheduled to vote on the agreement Tuesday evening.

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