The city of South Bend is getting a new police chief on Thursday, Oct. 1.
Division Chief Scott Ruszkowski will be sworn in as chief of the South Bend Police Department during a special ceremony at 1 p.m.
He joined the South Bend Police Department in 1989 and has risen through the ranks, working in several divisions with the department. He was promoted in 2013 to uniform division chief by then-Chief Ron Teachman, who worked his final day Wednesday, Sept. 30.
In honor of his first day as chief, here are five things you may not know about him.
1. HE DIDN’T WANT TO BECOME A COP UNTIL HE JOINED THE NAVY
Ruszkowski is a third generation cop, but despite his family history, he wasn’t interested in becoming a police officer until he served in the military.
There, he got a taste of military police duty in the mid-1980s, according to the South Bend Tribune.
“I guess that’s when I caught the bug,” he said.
2. HE’S AFRAID OF SPIDERS
That’s right. Spiders give him the heebie-jeebies.
In fact, Ruszkowski has recently been nursing an injured finger from an encounter with a spider while he was in his police SUV a few weeks ago. He was sitting in the SUV when he saw the spider and tried to get away. As Ruszkowski hurried to get out, he snagged his finger in the steering wheel.
Luckily, the injury was minor. The spider, however, hasn’t been seen or heard from since.
3. HE APPLIED TO BE CHIEF BEFORE TEACHMAN WAS HIRED
Ruszkowski was a captain when he applied to be chief in 2012, but Mayor Pete Buttigieg chose Teachman for the job instead.
But that decision turned out to be for the best, Ruszkowski said.
“I absolutely would not do it any other way,” he told the Tribune. “I learned so much … with the different technologies, methods, strategies, programs … and I think most officers like me were salivating for something, anything, to confirm what we’ve already known. Chief did both.”
4. HE IS OFTEN INTERVIEWED BY JOURNALISTS…. EVEN WHEN HE’S ON VACATION
Even though he was miles away from home, Ruszkowski still was questioned by a reporter when he was visiting the Outer Banks with his family in June.
Catherine Kozak with the Island Free Press asked Ruszkowski if he was concerned about sharks in the water while he was swimming there. He told her that it was ”no big deal.“
”We had all the kids out there,” he told her. ”We took precautions so as not to look like a baby seal.”
5. HE REALLY LIKES LITTLE DEBBIE DOUGHNUTS
This photo really says it all.
Jason Stefaniak with Mishawaka PD and Scott Ruszkowski with South Bend PD ❤️ doughnuts. Thanks for stopping by! pic.twitter.com/2JHe1YAGqC
— News/Talk 95.3 MNC (@953MNC) September 11, 2015