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SB(PD)Undercover Blog - Read It Often!

Re: SB(PD)Undercover Blog - Read It Often!

Postby bdcbbq » Fri Oct 07, 2016 7:44 pm

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Re: SB(PD)Undercover Blog - Read It Often!

Postby Happy Mom » Tue Oct 10, 2017 6:35 pm

Does anyone know anything about this?


SBPD Chief: Loaded firearm found in road belongs to department

Reporter finds South Bend police gun

By Joel Porter | Posted: Mon 7:01 PM, Oct 09, 2017

Image

Three weeks after a Newscenter 16 reporter found a South Bend police officer's gun in the middle of a busy street, police department leaders are keeping mum about how it happened.


A picture of the unloaded Smith and Wesson 9mm M&P found along SR-23 in Mishawaka on Sunday afternoon.

Both police chief Scott Ruszkowski and South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg refused to comment about the case, claiming they can't talk about an active investigation.

In three weeks, dozens of Newscenter 16 viewers have contacted the station, wanting a straight answer from police.

It doesn't appear the officer who had the gun was suspended. Under city law, any officer suspended four days or longer must appear before South Bend's Board of Public Safety.

South Bend Police Chief Scott Ruszkowski confirmed the loaded handgun, stamped with "SBPD" on the slide, belongs to the police department.

"We do not comment on pending or in-progress internal investigations, but I can confirm the firearm belongs to the SBPD,” Chief Ruszkowski wrote in an email to NewsCenter 16. “By all preliminary indications, there was nothing nefarious regarding this incident.”


The email was sent Monday to NewsCenter 16’s Joel Porter, who requested an interview and more information about the gun—a Smith and Wesson 9mm M&P issue. Porter spotted the gun on Sunday, September 17th, while driving on State Road 23 near Cleveland Road.

Porter reported that he turned his vehicle around, parked, then waited for a break in traffic and walked out to get a closer look. Another passing motorist stopped at the same time.

“We turned the corner headed to the mall and saw what looked like a pistol in the middle of the road,” said Tracy Hertel, who also saw the gun while driving on SR-23.

The intersection near University Park Mall is one of the busiest in the area.

“I was hoping it was a toy gun, but it was a real one,” Hertel said. “All I could think was some little kid could pick that up and we'd have a tragedy to talk about.”

Porter picked up the gun, and noticed it had “SBPD” stamped on the slide. He unloaded the weapon and called police. Porter spoke with a sergeant, who sent an officer to collect the gun as evidence.

“Thank you for turning the firearm over, it is/was the correct and proper thing to do,” Ruszkowski said via email.

NewsCenter 16 is working to find out to whom the gun was issued and how it ended up in the road.


Ruszkowski declined further comment and an on camera interview until the internal investigation is done. He said the department will review whether department policy or training, or a law was violated and take corrective action that could include a policy change or discipline.

“It'd be nice if they were frank and forthcoming, and that's up to them, too,” Hertel said. “You and I are held accountable where we work, aren't we?”

An officer who collected the gun Sunday said the firearm would be entered into evidence. NewsCenter 16 learned it is protocol to run the gun's serial number to see whom it was registered or issued to. Police have not yet released that officer's name because the internal investigation is ongoing.

It is also standard practice to fire found or abandoned property, and to test the gun for ballistics and compare it to any recent crimes around the city, police said.

If the gun was reported stolen, there will be a record with a case number investigators could look up.

Officers also told Newscenter 16 if the gun was lost or misplaced, it's a bigger problem if the officer in question didn't tell anyone about it because it opens an internal affairs investigation and becomes an issue with the officer's credibility.

http://www.wndu.com/content/news/Report ... 98513.html
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Re: SB(PD)Undercover Blog - Read It Often!

Postby Buck Wheat » Mon Oct 16, 2017 5:30 pm

Perhaps one of our SBPD members will reveal who the gun is issued to.

:whistle:
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Re: SB(PD)Undercover Blog - Read It Often!

Postby Happy Mom » Thu Nov 02, 2017 4:54 pm

Buck Wheat wrote:Perhaps one of our SBPD members will reveal who the gun is issued to.

:whistle:

Please? :think: :shifty: :pray:
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Re: SB(PD)Undercover Blog - Read It Often!

Postby Happy Mom » Thu Nov 02, 2017 4:55 pm

Jury finds South Bend police retaliated against former officer
CHRISTIAN SHECKLER South Bend Tribune csheckler@sbtinfo.com Nov 2, 2017 Updated 27 min ago (0)
JOY PHILLIPS

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Left: Former South Bend Patrolwoman Joy Phillips. Right: Police Chief Scott Ruszkowski
photo provided
SOUTH BEND — A federal jury Thursday found the South Bend Police Department unlawfully retaliated against a former officer by targeting her for disciplinary action after she filed a sexual harassment complaint.

Concluding a four-day trial in U.S. District Court, the jury of five men and three women ordered the city to pay former officer Joy Phillips $35,000 in damages, plus lost wages and attorney fees to be determined later.

Phillips said the police department launched a series of internal investigations and disciplinary actions against her after October 2014, when she filed a sexual harassment complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. She said that complaint came after a male supervisor made a comment suggesting she could wear a mini skirt and high heels to a meeting.

"I'm happy for Joy because, with this verdict, she's been vindicated," said her trial attorney, Dan Pfeifer. "If there's a message, it's to employers: If an employee follows the law and files an EEOC complaint, let the legal system run its course. Don't retaliate, don't make life miserable."

Michael Hays, the lead attorney for the city, did not respond to reporters when asked for a statement on his way out of the courthouse.

Earlier, in closing arguments, Hays said any discipline against Phillips was meant only to hold her accountable for clear policy violations.

"You don't get a free pass on policy just because you made some unrelated complaints," Hays told the jury. "That would disrupt our culture of accountability. Joy Phillips wanted untouchability."

Evidence offered at trial showed Phillips, who joined the department in 1999, was disciplined five times in her first 15 years on the job. After 2014, she was investigated a dozen times and recommended for discipline in six cases.

She first filed a lawsuit alleging sexual harassment and discrimination against the city and former police chief Ron Teachman in November 2015. She later named current Chief Scott Ruszkowski and added a claim of retaliation.

In March 2016, four months after Phillips filed her lawsuit, Ruszkowski filed charges against her for policy violations in five separate cases, recommending her for unpaid suspensions totaling more than 50 days. Ruszkowski also placed her on a form of administrative leave that allowed her to collect her base salary but banned her from police duties.

"They were out to get her," Pfeifer said in closing arguments. "They were going to drive her out of the police force."

The disciplinary cases were still unresolved in July 2016, when Phillips resigned to take a job with the Elkhart Police Department. She is now a detective there.

Aside from the $35,000 in damages for distress, pain and suffering, the city is likely to owe Phillips money for lost wages and legal fees. The lost wages stem from the several months in which she was stripped of police powers and unable to work overtime or security jobs.

U.S. District Court Chief Judge Phillip Simon, who presided over the trial, said he would set a conference for later this month to determine the wages and legal fees owed by the city. He also noted the city has a right to appeal the verdict or ask for a new trial.

https://www.southbendtribune.com/news/p ... nd_Tribune
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