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Police priorities fail to meet student needs

Letter to the Editor | Friday, April 27, 2007

We are seniors living off campus writing to express our frustration with both the South Bend Police Department and the Indiana State Police. Six of our eight cars and both of our houses have been broken into with valuables taken, including multiple electronics, and even a porch swing. Each time we have been met with a slow, casual response. For one incident, they tried to tell us that the evidence pointed to a student burglary, and have accused us of not securing our homes and cars well enough.

Meanwhile, this past Saturday night, five Indiana State Police squad cars arrived at our house and issued an underage drinking ticket to a Notre Dame student who was sitting calmly on our front porch, with no drink in hand, and no party or noise occurring at our house. More or less, an innocent 19-year-old girl received a citation for sitting outside talking to friends. Earlier in the day this past Saturday, hundreds of underage students were drinking in the backyard across the street from our house, while the South Bend Police were doing nothing but regulating who came in and out of this overrated annual event. While this block party was taking place, our small gathering was forced out of our front yard when three SPBD cars arrived, ignorant to the event across the street. Their justification was that the property across the street had a permit for the occasion. We were unaware that it was possible under Indiana state law to acquire a permit to allow underage kids to consume alcohol.

The South Bend Police as a whole seems to show no care for Notre Dame students. They seem to fight crime only in instances where no danger is present, and ignore the numerous robberies and shootings that happen in South Bend. In our neighborhood, one of our neighbors has been charged with 17 counts of car burglary. Each time, however, he has been released on bail.

However, it is very comforting to know that South Bend and Indiana’s finest are protecting us from the dangers of 19 and 20-year-old students drinking a beer. Because the Notre Dame residence halls have become so crowded, it is necessary that a certain number of students live off-campus. However, students should think twice before becoming a part of a crime-filled community where the law enforcers have such backwards priorities. Over the past four years, we have grown to love the close-knit community at Notre Dame. This year, we have grown to despise the community of South Bend.

Matt Smith

Mike Hennig


off campus

April 25