SBPD Wiretap Trial Underway

A trial in a wiretapping lawsuit involving the South Bend Police Department is underway in U.S. District Court. The City of South Bend, Common Council and four police officers are arguing about whether the recording of a police officer’s phone line violates federal law. Captain Brian Young was assigned a new office and phone line after receiving a promotion several years ago. The phone line he was using had been tapped at the request of an officer before Young got to that office. The former communications director discovered the wire tap while investigating a phone system crash. The city and four officers argue the recording was accidental, and therefore in violation of the Federal Wiretap Act as it was not part of police policy. The Common Council argues that an accidental recording of a phone line is allowed under the law because it is a regular practice to record police phone lines.