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History and Mission

Mission

"The South Bend Police Department, in community partnership, will strive to protect the life, property, and personal liberties of all individuals.  We believe that the overall quality of life for all persons will improve through the deterrence of criminal activity, and understanding the diversity of cultures within our community.  Therefore, we pledge to deliver fair, impartial, and legitimate law enforcement service to all: Dignity/Respect/Fairness."

Chief of Police Scott Ruszkowski


Vision

To constantly strive for excellence in the quality of police service to help ensure a safe community for everyone.


History

The South Bend Police Department boasts a rich history that traces the growth and development of the city itself. Below is a timeline of department milestones.

  • Original department founded with two constables – 1831
  • Constables replaced with a marshal – 1844
  • Officially named the South Bend Police Department – 1903
  • Motor-driven vehicles introduced – 1910
  • Women officers instated – 1914
  • Records division began – 1939
  • Crime lab began – 1943
  • Use of radar instated – 1951
  • K-9 corps established – 1961
  • School-liaison program established – 1970
  • Mobile crime lab established – 1973
  • All-time high of 264 officers – 1974
  • Personal body armor for officers purchased – 1977
  • Community orientated policing program established – 1981
  • City jail closed - 1984
  • Police bicycle patrols began – 1990
  • School resource officer program established – 1997

 

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