South Bend Mayor, Police Chief present draft “use of force” policy


South Bend Mayor James Mueller and Police Chief Scott Ruszkowski presented a draft use of force policy for public review and feedback, on Thursday, Aug. 20.

“This draft policy incorporates best practices for 21st century policing in addition to the progress our department has made over the past several years on use of force training,” said Mayor James Mueller. “With an emphasis on the importance of de-escalation tactics and the use of force only when reasonable, necessary and proportional to a threat, this builds on our leadership in the region on 21st century policing. I encourage and look forward to receiving public feedback on this draft, through either the online survey or in the next virtual Community Action Group meeting.”

“De-escalation has been a focused training within SBPD, but we want to make sure that focus is also reflected in the written use of force policy,” said Chief Scott Ruszkowski. “Moving forward, as with other policies, we’ll continue to review and make necessary adjustments to the use of force policy in order to stay at the forefront of best practices.”

The City will host a Community Action Group meeting at 7 p.m. on Aug. 26. Because of the ongoing threat of COVID-19, the meeting will be held virtually. Attendees can join by visiting

The City will also collect feedback via an electronic survey for the next three weeks. To provide feedback via the electronic survey, click here.

To view the draft policy, click here.


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