Wednesday’s quarterly public safety meeting included an announcement from Mayor James Mueller. They announced the launch of the South Bend Police Academy.
Mayor James Mueller: “This is going to be one piece of the solution to how we expect to be fully staffed by the end of next year.”
The SBPD Academy is 17-weeks long, which will allow the department to teach recruits right there in South Bend rather than sending them to other academies. The two they have been using are those in Hobart and Plainfield.
Patrol Division Chief Eric Crittendon: “The advantage is having our recruits remaining at home where they can remain with family instead of traveling back and forth. They can spend more time at home with their families.”
However, not all training will take place in South Bend. Some training will have to take place at the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA) in Plainfield. That’s three hours south of South Bend.
South Bend Police Chief Scott Ruszkowski: “Firearms qualification, emergency vehicle operations – those would all be testable categories that they would have to travel down state to do. No different than they would do if they were down there,”
During the pandemic shutdown, recruits were unable to attend ILEA, so SBPD had to form its own police academy.
Mayor James Mueller: “That was the first time we did an academy here because we knew we needed officers. if there are no slots to – even if we have recruits, there are no slots to get them trained. That puts us back quite a ways.”
The South Bend Police Academy begins October 31st.