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Thanksgiving Holidays Can Be the Most Dangerous For Drivers November 26, 2013

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Thanksgiving has been long recognized as the busiest travel holiday of the year in the U.S.. Millions take to the road to visit family and friends. That fact alone adds to the total number of cars traveling long distances and the odds of traffic mishaps increases. Also a factor in some areas is the unpredictability of the weather, forcing people onto the roadways when they might normally take a pass at driving.

Also of note is the Wednesday night into Thursday morning that precedes the traditional celebration of the holiday. Research also shows that thousands of people chose that night to celebrate with friends at bars and clubs and the number of intoxicated drivers on the roadways rivals that of New Years Eve.

Whatever the reason, the largest number of intoxicated drivers and overall fatalities on a national level is at its peak over the Thanksgiving holiday.

The South Bend Police Department urges all drivers to exercise caution over the holiday and if you are meeting friends out on Wednesday night or any night, find a designated driver or a cab if your festivities involve alcoh

European Bookselling Kidnappers Hoax Comes to South Bend August 30, 2013

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An internet hoax has made it to South Bend. Variations of the rumor exist but it is based on a legitimate company that recruits foreign exchange students for summer employment selling children’s books, door-to-door.

Real scenario: The student walks up to a house and asks the resident if they have any young children and if so, would they care to buy a book. If no, they ask if they know which neighbors have kids to save some time and effort. If they were selling dog treats, they would probably ask about dogs, but it’s children’s books so…

Internet hoax version: “Russian kidnappers posing as door-to-door salespeople are casing your neighborhood for children to abduct and steal back to Eastern Europe”.

The peddlers currently in the City are indeed exchange students, however they have issued peddlers permits and are legitimate. The hoax relies on spreading the rumor and when the student finally shows up at your house it appears that the story is true. For further explanations on this and other myths, including the “gang initiation” frauds and other lies designed to scare you, go here: http://tinyurl.com/mpzfnmb

How Fast is Too Fast When Driving On A Wet Roadway: Hydroplaning August 9, 2013

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Hydroplaning on water when you are driving occurs when the tires of a vehicle begin allowing roadway water to push underneath the tire because of increased speed. Tires are designed to channel the water and allow the tread to stay in contact with the roadway. Going too fast does not allow the channeling to occur, and the vehicle begins to ride on a cushion of water. That makes for a dangerous lack of control. Did you ever go inner-tubing behind a boat on a lake? Once you reach the proper speed, no real control exists for the occupant of the tube.

Now there are a lot of factors that can effect the loss of control, but studies have shown that when water depth reaches 1/10th of an inch for 30+ feet, hydroplaning becomes possible. In a moderate rainstorm or wherever water pools, that depth is easily attainable.

Without a long discussion of tire and tread design, lets look at a simple rule of thumb and try to figure out a sensible speed for driving in rain or a really wet roadway.

This formula was developed in the 1960’s when researchers studied the hydroplaning speeds of aircraft tires. It works for passenger cars and trucks as well and the results are far less than the average driver would generally guess.

Here is the simple formula:

Nine times the square root of your TIRE PRESSURE equals the speed in mph at which your vehicle will attain hydroplane speed.

At or above this speed you will be sailing along virtually frictionless, as if you were on water skis.

Fast example: Your tire pressure: 36 psi

The square root of 36 = 6

9 times the square root (6) = 54 mph

That’s your hydroplane speed at that tire pressure.

Incidentally, vehicle weight has absolutely no effect on hydroplane speed.

Example two: Your tire pressure: 32 psi

Square root of 32 = 5.66

9 times 5.66 = 50.9 mph

Please drive safely, especially when the roadway is compromised by snow, ice, dirt, debris and of course, water.

South Bend Fireworks Laws for Display and Purchase June 19, 2013

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Fireworks usage in the City of South Bend:

(a) Consumer fireworks may be used within the corporate limits of the City of South Bend only under the provisions of this section.

(1) For purposes of this section, the term “consumer firework” means: a small firework that is designed primarily to produce visible effects by combustion, and that is required to comply with the construction, chemical composition, and labeling regulations promulgated by the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission under 16 CFR 1507. The term also includes some small devices designed to produce an audible effect, such as whistling devices, ground devices containing fifty (50) milligrams or less of explosive composition, and aerial devices containing one hundred thirty (130) milligrams or less of explosive composition. Propelling or expelling charges consisting of a mixture of charcoal, sulfur, and potassium nitrate are not considered as designed to produce an audible effect. Consumer fireworks:

a. Include:

1. Aerial devices, which include sky rockets, missile type rockets, helicopter or aerial spinners, roman candles, mines, and shells;

2. Ground audible devices, which include firecrackers, salutes, and chasers; and

3. Firework devices containing combinations of the effects described in clauses 1. and 2.; and

b. Do not include the following items:

1. Dipped sticks or wire sparklers. However, total pyrotechnic composition may not exceed one hundred (100) grams per item. Devices containing chlorate or perchlorate salts may not exceed five (5) grams in total composition per item.

2. Cylindrical fountains.

3. Cone fountains.

4. Illuminating torches.

5. Wheels.

6. Ground spinners.

7. Flitter sparklers.

8. Snakes or glow worms.

9. Smoke devices.

10. Trick noisemakers, which include:

i. Party poppers.

ii. Booby traps.

iii. Snappers.

iv. Trick matches.

v. Cigarette loads

vi. Auto burglar alarms.

(2) No person may use, ignite or discharge consumer fireworks within the corporate limits of the City of South Bend except during the following times:

a. Between the hours of 5:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. on June 29, 30, July 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9.

b. Between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 12:00 midnight on July 4; and

c. Between the hours of 10:00 a.m. on December 31 and 1:00 a.m. on January 1.

(3) No person may use, ignite, or discharge consumer fireworks on any public street or in any public park within the corporate limits of the City of South Bend at any time.

(4) Any person violating this subsection shall be subject to the following penalties:

a. One hundred dollars ($100.00) for a first offense;

b. Two hundred fifty dollars ($250.00) for a second;

c. Five hundred dollars ($500.00) for a third offense and every subsequent.

d. Any person issued a citation for violating any provision of section 13-59 shall make payment through the Ordinance Violations Bureau. Failure to make payment within thirty (30) days of the issuance of a citation for violation of any provision of section 13-59 shall result in the assessment of a late fee of fifty dollars ($50.00).

e. In such instances where using, igniting or discharging consumer fireworks results in a fire and damage is determined to be caused by negligence or the willful disregard or violation of any of the provisions of this article, a fine equal to the cost expended by the City to send fire suppression personnel and equipment to the location shall be assessed with said fine not exceeding two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500.00).

f. A citation for a violation of section 13-59 shall be issued to the responsible party. A responsible party is defined as the person shown to have exclusive possession of the property (a present possessory interest). If no responsible party is present upon the premises, the responsible party is deemed to be the property owner(s), as determined by reference to the records of the St. Joseph County Assessor. In such an instance, copies of the citation must be mailed to the property owner as determined from the Assessor’s records.

(b) Any person wishing to give a supervised public display of fireworks may do so by first procuring a license from the City and filing bond in the sum of fifty thousand dollars ($50,000.00), conditioned on the payment of all damages which may be caused either to a person or property by reason of such licensed display or arising from any acts of the licensee, his agents, employees or subcontractors. The license fee shall be twenty dollars ($20.00) per day for each day of such public display.

(c) Any public display of fireworks shall be conducted in all things in accordance with the rules and regulations adopted and set out by the Fire Marshal of the State, and as the same are restricted or designated by the Acts of the General Assembly of the State. All definitions contained in such acts shall apply to the terms of this section.

(Code 1962, § 26-11; Ord. No. 9769-07, § I, 6-25-07)

Scam Businesses Often Masquerade as Public Safety Charities June 14, 2013

Posted by southbendpolice in Community Announcements, Crime Prevention, In The News, Uncategorized.
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Look at the study of “America’s Worst Charities” and notice how many are associating themselves with public safety. Police, Fire and EMS along with veterans affairs seem to be a favorite. Associating with law enforcement, fire service and the military seem to help legitimize the business of ask for your money.

Do your research if you are inclined to give to a charity. There are several websites and organizations that track charities and offer a report card on their giving back to the actual people in need or the operation of their advertised programs. If you are going to donate to any non-profit, please the group that solicits your donation before you give.

SBPD Summer Youth Football Program Is In Progress June 13, 2013

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Do you have a child age 8-14 who wants to play summer football? The SBPD Police Athletic League is offering a football program for kids interested in staying fit and learning football over the summer. The program is being held at Navarre Intermediate Center, located at 4702 W. Ford Street in the City. The program has started, but kids are welcome to sign up and attend throughout the summer. If your child is interested call Sgt. Dave Herron at 574-235-5888 Ext. 2078.

Ages 8-11 meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays
Ages 12-14 meet on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays

South Bend Police Athletic League February 8, 2012

Posted by southbendpolice in Community Announcements, Crime Prevention, Feature Stories.
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The South Bend Police Athletic League, Inc. was founded through the vision of Chief Darryl Boykins. It is a youth crime prevention program that utilizes educational, athletic and recreational activities to create trust and understanding between police officers and youth. It is based on the conviction that young people, if they are reached early enough, can develop strong positive attitudes towards police officers in their journey through life toward the goal of maturity and good citizenship. The South Bend PAL program brings youth under the supervision and positive influence of SBPD Officers and expands public awareness about the role of a police officer and the reinforcement of the responsible values and attitudes instilled in young people by their parents.

The South Bend Police Athletic League has received acknowledgement for it’s innovative programs and work with youth through a publication in the Journal of Research in Character Education,” Champions for Children: Reaching Out to Urban Youth Through Sports”, Author: Power, F ClarkDate published: July 1, 2010.

Donations to the South Bend Police Athletic League, Inc. can be made by contacting Lt. Christopher Voros at 574-235-7770.

Can You Identify this Robbery Suspect? February 15, 2011

Posted by southbendpolice in Community Announcements, News Releases.
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Bank Robbery SuspectAt approximately 3:05 PM on Januanry 19, 2011, the SBPD received a call of an armed (handgun) robbery at the Fifth-Third Bank branch located at 301 N. Main St. in the City.

The suspect reportedly entered the bank, approached a teller, displayed a firearm and demanded money. Once the suspect received an amount of currency he fled on foot from the bank. No injuries were reported.

Anyone with information regarding this crime is asked to call the SBPD Detective Bureau at 574-235-9263 or Crime Stoppers at 574-288-STOP.

The suspect is described as:

Male black; 20’s, 5’9″-6’0″ Medium Build;
Black or blue jacket with a numeral on the sleeve possibly a “32” on the left shoulder;
Black or dark blue knit style hat;

Are you ready for a winter weather emergency while in your vehicle? December 15, 2010

Posted by southbendpolice in In The News.
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Some people on area highways recently found out the hard way how difficult and dangerous it can be if stranded on the highway. Even if you are an excellent driver and have a reliable 4-wheel drive vehicle, circumstances beyond your control can leave you in your car for hours. Drifting snow can lead to a chain-reaction of hopelessly buried vehicles. In a driving situation like that, you are really at the mercy of the most poorly equipped vehicle sharing the road with you. When that vehicle fails, you could be in for a long wait.

Everyone should have a winter emergency kit in their car. That consists of blankets, non-perishable food (that won’t freeze solid), hand and foot warmers and an extra layer of clothing. Also, don’t let yourself or your young driver leave the house in bad weather without a fully charged cell phone and plenty of gas in the tank.

SBPD Is Now On NIXLE.com November 5, 2010

Posted by southbendpolice in Community Announcements, Uncategorized.
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Visit http://www.nixle.com and sign up for SBPD updates on a wide range of public safety topics. We also link our nixle updates to our twitter account if you prefer tweets instead. You can find us there at http://www.twitter.com/southbendpolice . One of our concepts that we will be pursuing in the very near future will be linking our neighborhood watch program and crime prevention broadcasts to geographically targeted nixle messages. Check back for further updates on how to receive crime and neighborhood watch updates specifically tailored for your neighborhood or business address.