South Bend Police Department continues recruiting mission

NOW: South Bend Police Department continues recruiting mission

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SOUTH BEND, Ind. --- Eight brand new probationary officers are starting their careers with the South Bend Police Department after they were sworn in at the Board of Public Safety meeting Wednesday morning, but even with the new hires, the department is not done with its recruiting mission.

South Bend Police have faced major staffing shortages in recent years, and the new addition of officers brings the department's total to 229.

However, not all of them are patrolling right now, including the new officers that must complete months of training.

“Manpower is an issue still so having these officers sworn in and getting them on the streets is definitely going to help with a wide variety throughout the department,” said Joshua Morgan said Vice President FOP  Lodge 36.

Gun violence intervention advocates and residents who live on South Bend’s west side, impacted by a lot of the recent violence said they hope adding more police will help curb crime.

“I think it’s huge. It provides us to have extra officers not only for patrols but for special groups in the police department. You stop crime not dealing with it afterwards, but trying to prevent it from happening,” said Lynn Coleman, a retired South Bend Police Officer who works with the city's Gun Violence Intervention program.

“I think it’s a great opportunity for the new officers, I think it’s a great opportunity for the city of South Bend. You know I think they need more law enforcement on the street right now with all the violence and everything going on,” said west side resident Frank Fanin.

One of the many reasons vice president of South Bend’s Fraternal Order of Police said they’re upping recruitment efforts to fill in shortages.

“They visit colleges, job fairs, we have lateral bonuses. We are one of the highest paying police departments in this area,” said Morgan.

"It’s, extremely extremely important that our churches, our schools, our community groups neighborhood agencies encourage young kids, young kids of color, black, Hispanic Asian to consider law-enforcement as a career not only in our community but across the country," added Coleman.

The department said they’re still looking to bring on at least 10 more officers. Starting pay does begin at around $50,000 in addition to incentives. If you’d like more information about the hiring process and the next steps click here.

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