South Bend Police unveil data portal for increased transparency


South Bend Police have created an online data portal with the goal to increase public transparency.

“Now we can actually show you,” Police Chief Scott Ruszkowski said.

Ruszkowski says he’s constantly getting request for copies of police protocol, crime statistics and feedback.

Now, all that information is online.

“This website is to make sure that anyone, a resident, a journalist, a researcher, can get information about public safety in this community,” South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg said.

The site was announced Wednesday but has been in the works for years.

“If we can get the information in front of you, online, then you don’t have to request it. You can just pull it up,” Buttigieg said.

Visitors can also access a crime map, and use of force history and protocol.

It also has a section to make and read comments about the department.

“We can’t do our job unless we know what people want from us,” Ruszkowski said.                                  

While the site makes it easier for people to complain to or commend officers, the chief and mayor are hoping it eventually eliminates many complaints, by building trust with the department.

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