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Tax payer wants police motorcycles used more

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- One year ago the city bought motorcycles worth over $120,000 for the South Bend Police Department, but since they’ve only been seen out of the garage for parades.

Captain Scott Ruszkowski said the bikes are primarily used for parades, but that does not mean they will not ever have any other uses.

“A lot of it is mostly for parades and then when we do dignitary escorts, we also do the Sunburst, and all the abate rides,” said Ruszkowski.

Ruszkowski said the new motorcycles offer huge advantages for major public events.

“Huge, we can go anywhere on the motorcycles; sidewalks, alleys, there is no such thing as a traffic jam when there is a motorcycle involved.”

But that is not sitting well with some South Bend tax payers.

“I have not seen the motorcycles other than the Memorial Day parade and for the Notre Dame games,” said tax payer Greg Brown.

Brown has lived in South Bend for 47 years and he wants to see the motorcycles used more, especially for enforcing speed limits around the city.

“I think they should be a visibility. I think they should be around the school zone. I think they should be out on the streets.”

Ruszkowski agrees the bikes could come in handy for traffic stops, but he said there is something they are lacking.

“They need a computer and an 800 radio system,” said Ruszkowski.

So why don’t the motorcycles have the systems needed to write tickets?

“It is expensive,” said Ruszkowski.

Brown said that is something that should have been addressed before hand.

“Tying tax payer’s money up, that is not fair to us, when you purchased the bike and took the money from the tax payers,”said Brown.

Ruszkowski also said the department does have battery operated ticket machines that could be used to hand write a ticket on a motorcycle, but the state prefers e-tickets on computers, because they are easier to read.


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