SB Councilwoman questions why park police can't carry weapons

Here's something most folks don't realize, the South Bend Parks Department has its own police force.

Until recently, park police could carry weapons but now that's changed.

This goes back to the beginning of the month when South Bend Police Chief Teachman recommended the unit no longer be allowed to carry guns while patrolling the parks.

Councilwoman Valerie Schey wrote a letter questioning why the unit, consisting of 3 full-time officers, be "stripped of its guns and emergency vehicles with the recent spike in violent crime in our city."

In the past two years two park police officers have resigned over the issue, unhappy the city wouldn't pay for additional training.

Former park police officer, Dave Hancock says, “Those guys are responsible for overseeing 70 plus properties. Properties the city owns that are in the county, those guys are encountering drunks, fights. They have to lock bathrooms at 9 or 10 at night. You never know what you are going to run into and now that assurance, they once had, is no longer there.”
On Wednesday the police chief was unavailable for comment and phone calls to South Bend's Superintendent of Parks were not returned.

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