Relationship-based policing focuses on developing a relationship between the South Bend Police Department and the community it serves. By Interacting with our community and developing strong relationships, we can build a mutual trust. When that trust is built, we can reduce crime, decrease the fear of crime, and make South Bend a safe and vibrant community for everyone.
How We Build Relationships
We love interacting with our community outside of "routine" police work. We host cookouts in "hot-spots", or violent crime areas and we host cook-ins at the South Bend Police Department. The goal is to connect with our community, build relationships and enjoy a great meal.
Fun Fact: We serve more than 500 people a year.
While it is important for our officers to drive around South Bend, it is just as important for them to walk their beat too! Officers take this opportunity to meet the community and learn more about community concerns.
Fun Fact: We had more than 12,000 walking patrols in 2019.
Our officers love interacting with kids! They spend time in different schools reading to students, hosting Q&A sessions, they do K-9 demonstrations, and even demonstrate the duties of crime scene techs.
The National Night Out Against Crime program began in 1984 to promote community involvement in crime prevention activities and police-community partnerships.
Fun Fact: In 2019, we had 79 vendors and 900 attendees.
The South Bend Police Department has a food pantry that is open 24/7. Whenever an officer meets a family in need, they stop by the station, bag up some food and take it to them.
As officers drive around the community, we encourage them to get out and interact with our youth. These interactions come in many forms. A lot of times they will join in on basketball games, play catch, play soccer and more!
During the holiday season, several local agencies help families in need, and we are more than happy to help! We head out to different locations and help community members pick up holiday baskets.
The Marine Toys for Tots Program is special to our officers. Many of them have either served or are serving in the Marine's or other branches of the military. Every year, we collect hundreds of toys and deliver them at WNDU's Toys for Tots Drive.
Neighborhood Watch is one of the most effective and least costly ways to prevent crime and reduce fear in neighborhoods. The Neighborhood Watch is the cornerstone of SBPD’s crime prevention strategy because it enlists the active participation of residents in cooperation with law enforcement.
More information here: https://police.southbendin.gov/get-involved/neighborhood-watch-groups
We want to partner with you! If you have a security camera, let us know by registering it. This does not mean we will have access whenever we want. It means, if an incident happens near you and we see you registered your camera, we can reach out and you get to tell us if we can have access or not.
Learn more: http://www.crimereports.com/camera_registration#/
Cup with a Cop is just another opportunity for our officers to meet with members of our community. Coffee shops all around the South Bend area offer to host this event.
Reducing gun violence remains the top priority for the South Bend Police Department. The South Bend Police Department Shooting Response Team is made up of a group of dedicated detectives who respond to almost every non-fatal shooting.
Fun Fact: There is no other team or unit like this in the Michiana area.
Board of Public Safety Meetings happen every third Wednesday of the month at 9:15AM. It is always open to the public. Chief Ruszkowski highlights new hires, retirements, crime statistics, etc. It is a great way for the community to stay up to date on what is happening at the South Bend Police Department
Learn more: https://southbendin.gov/board/public-safety/
During the summer months, our officers stop by different neighborhoods and surprise them with popsicles and pizza! Blood Drives at the South Bend Police Department
Every year, the South Bend Police Department partners with the South Bend Medical Foundation to host the Indiana Fallen Officers Blood Drive. It is just another way for us to give back to our community.
Fun Fact: Our 2020 blood drive saved 198 lives.
We have officers attend EVERY neighborhood meeting. This is a great way for our officers to learn about issues community members are having and community members get to learn more about our officers!
Fun Fact: There were more than 100 meetings in 2019.
Cops & Goblins is an annual event that provides a safe trick-or-treating experience to members of our community. We have vendors set up tables full of candy and they help us pass it out to everyone that comes through.
Fun Fact: We had more than 8,000 attendees in 2019.
Every year, sometimes twice a year, we host a Citizen's Police Academy. It is a free, 9-week program that highlights all the units that make up the South Bend Police Department and gives community members an in-depth look at what the South Bend Police Department is all about.
The Police Athletic League provides after-school programs, summer programs, employment opportunities, and more to our youth. The goal of this program is to focus on healthy living, education, and juvenile crime reduction and or recidivism.
Fun Fact: In 2019, we had 858 participants!
Learn more here: https://police.southbendin.gov/get-involved/police-athletic-league
Every year, our officers deliver Christmas presents and a Christmas dinner to families in need. Thanks to the generosity of our community, families get toys, games, books, clothes, hygiene products and more!
Fun Fact: We were able to help 150 children in 2020. Normally, we help between 40-50!
Every year, the Salvation Army Kroc Centers hosts a Red Kettle Ring-off, South Bend vs Mishawaka. We love to participate and help raise funds for families in need in our community.
South Bend Police Officers help at Notre Dame events. This includes sporting events and social events. Not only do they help with traffic and pedestrian safety, but they also provide escorts for the Notre Dame Football Team.
Our officers are always stopping by and or participating in local events. Some of those events include First Fridays, West-side Wednesdays, Best Week Ever, the St. Patrick's Day Parade, Sunburst, the Memorial Day Parade and more.
The South Bend Police Department Cadet Program is designed for young men and women interested in exploring and developing their interest in the field of law enforcement while completing their college degrees.
Learn more: http://police.southbendin.gov/get-involved/cadets
The South Bend Group Violence Intervention (SBGVI) unites community leaders around a common goal: to stop gun violence and keep South Bend’s highest risk members alive and out of prison.
Learn more: https://police.southbendin.gov/about-sbpd/special-initiatives
The South Bend Police Transparency Hub was created in 2016 and has evolved over the last few years. The goal is to provide community members with as much access to public information as possible. You can view Crime & Incidents Data, Community Compliments/Complaints, learn about recruitment and more!
Check it out here: http://southbendin.gov/transparency-and-performance/police-transparency-hub/