SOUTH BEND South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg says the city is becoming a more welcoming place, as crime rates go down and the area is made more beautiful and entertaining.
A newly-developed anti-violence commission recently traveled to New York to study crime reduction strategies with The City University of New York's John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Experts there shared what they’ve learned about reducing violence and protecting city residents.
“The worst part of this job is getting that phone call, and it’s the worst part of life of a community is when we’re experiencing this type of violence,” Buttigieg says. “It’s not okay. It has to stop.”
That’s why the city formed the antiviolence commission. While violence is down from last year, Buttigieg says even one violent death is too many. The city is especially looking at strategies to cut back on gang violence.
A safe community is a necessary prerequisite to enticing people to live in the area, and Buttigieg says South Bend is building on that special draw.
“We are in the midst of a remarkable change in South Bend. People are ready to live downtown again.”
He says it started on a small scale with housing along the East Race, but more are now moving into the heart of the city, which creates a need for grocery stores and other retail downtown.
Buttigieg credits the South Bend Silver Hawks with sparking new excitement in the area as well, in terms of entertainment.
“They’ve created a nice family experience, even if you’re not in it for baseball,” he says.
He referenced things like bouncy houses and bars, as well as food; the mayor’s personal favorite is the cheesesteak nacho.
Finally, Buttigieg says downtown is becoming a more beautiful place. He specifically sites a new mural being painted on 933 south of Angela.