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Monday Ask A Cops! April 12, 2010

Posted by southbendpolice in Ask A Cop.
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Q: My temporary plate was stolen and I was told you will not take a report? What can be done?

A: Temporary 30 day plates issued by the BMV have a number which for several reasons cannot be listed into a national database like NCIC, nor are the serial numbers easily tracked by BMV to be able to trace plates and the routing of them like ‘standard’ license plates. Also by IN law, Dealers may not legally re-issue a temporary plate if stolen.

Sadly if this is the case, the time remaining on a temporary plate is lost and replacement plates of the standard metal type must be purchased to be able to legally operate or park your vehicle on streets.

Many dealers now are doing a good thing by writing the descriptions of the vehicle (i.e.” 2006 Black Saturn VUE”) on the plate margins when you purchase the vehicle. This is a good deterrent, and also helps police identify the plates as being the proper one for the car in many cases. I suggested this be made a provision on the plates themselves as an official area on the plate similar to many other states. I emailed the BMV about this recently but did not receive a reply. As a reminder Temporary Plates are also subject to proper display laws, which also dictate they should be mounted where a normal plate would go, as they are required to be illuminated at night and properly affixed to the vehicle so as to be read and not obscured.

Q: In reference to registered sex offenders,is it written in the laws that they cannot be within 1,000 feet of a school,or residences that have children?

A: If the sex offender is convicted of a crime involving children, IC 35-42-4-11 covers residency restrictions, including:

An offender against children knowingly or intentionally may not:
(1) reside within one thousand (1,000) feet of:
(A) school property, not including property of an institution providing post-secondary education; (B) a youth program center; or (C) a public park

Good information on local sex offender registry is found at http://www.insor.org/insasoweb/, and the full criminal statutes HERE

Q: I was just wondering if you had any internship opportunities or what the best way for me to get into a police department?

A: We do not have long term internships, however several local colleges as part of their courses do have observations or limited internships as part of the course curriculum. If you are enrolled in criminal justice or law courses currently, ask your professor for more information. We offered a cadet program recently, but budget cuts have forced the suspension of this program. Good luck!

Q: My best friend is a police officer [with a different agency] and he advised me against carrying loaded/chambered because it is illegal. I have read the IC guidelines exhaustively and can find no reference to such a law. What concerns me is that police officers are being told this law exists and will act on it. If such a law exists, where can I find it in the IC code.

A: Indiana Concealed Weapons Carry law makes no such reference to, or restrictions on carrying your weapons “chambered” or not. Your friend has erroneous information.

Q: I frequently commute to work via cycle. Today a dog ran out into the street at me and proceeded to chase me for several blocks. While the dog did not try to bite me, he did pose a threat to my safety by running right in front of me several times and nearly causing me to fall while traveling at fairly high speeds. My question is this – is pepper spray or dog spray legal in Indiana/South Bend? I feel now that I need some method of defense or deterrent – even “friendly” chasing dogs can pose serious hazards to cyclists (and themselves) if they get too close.

A: Good questions- which we actually mentioned on our Twitter page last week. There are no restrictions for carrying chemical spray, and if you jog or bike, it is a good idea to carry a small can of spray for instances like you mention, or to use to ward off in case of attack. I can tell you from experience that Chemical spray (also known as OC Spray) is HIGHLY effective in taking the fight out of people, effective against aggressive animals, and is easily handled by just about everyone. If you spend time outdoors, it would be a good investment that you can use with confidence.

Also if you have issues with aggressive dogs, call SB Animal Control to report aggressive dog offenses: 574.235.9303.



1. G.P. - April 24, 2010

I have a vehicle which needs a VIN inspection for a new title by an officer. I called the Police Department to set up a date and was told If I drive the vehicle out there for inspection the cost is $5 But, If I want an officer to inspect at my residence the charge is $30. The “Affidavit of Police Officer” document which the license branch gave me specifically states at the top, “In accordance with Indiana Code 9-29-4-2, a fee not to exceed $5 may be assessed.” And considering the nature of this situation…(a vehicle without a title which means no registration etc.), it would be illegal for me to drive this vehicle on the road to the P.D. South Bend obviously had that in mind when they came up with the $30 fee. So, How can South Bend honestly charge $30 for this when the document / code states they cannot? What is it that I’m missing?

southbendpolice - May 4, 2010

You are partially correct. the actual inspection is the $5 as provided by Indiana Code. The $30 is an additional fee (allowed by state law) for processing due to the additional resources needed for inspections of specialties, and to reduce the limited police resources needed with a large volume of on-scene inspections.

In other words, every officer needed to do a VIN inspection on scene takes an officer out of service for other emergency calls, for self-initiated activity, traffic enforcement, etc. At-station inspections may be made by non-sworn officer personnel.

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