South Bend Police officer going beyond 'protect and serve' as crossing guard

SOUTH BEND, Ind. —- A South Bend Police officer was recognized by the community after a woman noticed how he interacted with students at Success Academy. 

The woman sent an e-mail to ABC 57 News about Officer David Turk on May 21. In the e-mail, she called Ofc. Turk a positive role model for the students at the school. 

“My children attend South Bend Success Academy on Ardmore Trail in South Bend,” the woman wrote. “Every day (rains, snow, sun, hail!) a South Bend Police officer not only helps make sure inner city kids that attend the school get across the street safely, but he provides them snacks and talks to them too.”

Officer Turk said he has been helping out the school as a cross guard for the past two years. As an off-duty officer, Turk will stop traffic so students can safely pass.

“I want them to cross where it’s safe,” Ofc. Turk said. 

Turk said the traffic was the main reason he volunteered for the county-wide traffic control program. But to get the students, who are usually bursting with energy after school, to follow his lead Ofc. Turk said he has to reel them in with a treat. 

He said he gives out more than 150 snacks a week. While ABC 57 News was out with Ofc. Turk on Wednesday, a woman yelled that he is the ‘best crossing guard ever.’

When asked about what he thought about the e-mail sent on his behalf, Turk said he thinks it’s great people see him as a positive role model. However, he said he has continued this job because he loves the kids. 

“They’re just like my own kids,” he said. 

Ofc. Turk said he will retire from the force next winter. He said he isn’t sure if he’ll be able to continue to help out the school. 

But he said with summer vacation coming up, he is already looking forward to the start of the next school year. 

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