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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

SBPD Is Now On NIXLE.com November 5, 2010

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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.

2010 Dodge Charger Squad Car Hits the Streets April 29, 2010

Posted by southbendpolice in In The News, News Releases, Uncategorized.
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South Bend Police Department

Here is the newest member of the fleet! To supplement the standard fleet of Chevrolet Impala squad cars, the South Bend Police Department has purchased several Dodge Chargers.

Police Shoot at Armed Robbery Suspect April 24, 2010

Posted by southbendpolice in In The News, News Releases, Uncategorized.
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At approximately 8:45 AM on this date, the SBPD received a call of a robbery of two females in the 1200 block of Chimes Blvd. located on the northeast side of the City. Upon officers arrival, they were directed to three males who were identified  as the suspects in the case.

As an officer approached them they began to flee on foot and the officer pursued. At one point in the pursuit, one of the suspects turned and drew a handgun from his clothing. The pursuing officer, Corporal Ronald Johnson, a 30 year veteran of the SBPD fired his issued handgun at the robbery suspect, however the round did not strike the man. The pursuit however, quickly concluded and two of the three men were taken into custody, one of those being the person that drew the weapon at Cpl. Johnson.

The third individual fled into an apartment in the 900 block of  Patty Lane. The apartment building was immediately surrounded. Not knowing whether the suspect was armed, the SBPD  SWAT Team was activated as was the Hostage Negotiation Unit.
After evacuating several apartments in the complex, negotiators were able to coax the third suspect from an apartment at which time he was taken into custody. All of the suspects were taken to the Metro Homicide Unit for questioning as is standard procedure in any police involved shooting.

Two of the three suspects were adults and one is a juvenile.

No one, including the original robbery victims were injured in this incident.

Join Us on Facebook/Twitter? March 19, 2010

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Are you one of the hippest 1,311 Facebook users who are Fans of us? No? Get on that right away.

What about the social media enigma known as Twitter? If you Follow Us on Twitter, you can receive our alerts and breaking news as a text on your phone, or just sent to your Twitter page. And we’re brief- never more than 140 characters- we promise. Right now 537 people are cool enough to be Twitter users, and SBPD Followers.

The trend of using social media in the internet isn’t going away soon. In fact it allows people (and places) to be able to connect quickly, and rapidly. Significant events (i.e. “breaking news”, as the media calls it) and announcements are often published to our Twitter feed faster than the media covers them!

And it is only growing. AT SBPD, we are proud to be one of a handful of agencies in the state that connects with you with news, information, and a look at the insides via our Blog, Facebook, and on our Twitter pages. Becoming a fan keeps you informed quickly, when YOU want it, and to see the inner workings of our agency.

In addition, our Ask A Cop feature has been a SouthBendPolice.com feature since 2006! FOUR YEARS of answering your questions… from all over. No, really. I’ve had them from ALL OVER the country!

I appreciate you reading, and following us. I plan on featuring some “Bonus Features” on our Twitter page soon, as a ‘web exclusive’ for you. Check us out! Twitter is evolving, and allows instant news and communication right to your phone, right in your hand, when you need it. And it is a great tool to connect and keep in touch with friends, contacts, and a police department, right in your community…

Thanks for being a part!