Town hall held to stop gun violence in South Bend

Published: Apr. 8, 2021 at 11:11 PM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - Thursday night, a town hall meeting was held to stop the violence in South Bend.

It comes after a recent uptick in shootings over the last week.

“When we got family members who can’t sleep in their house because bullets are running through their house, we got a problem,” said community leader Isaac Hunt.

This year alone, the South Bend Police Department has been working around the clock, responding to incident after incident.

“It’s a huge emotional toll and it’s also a huge physical toll...And fellow officers, that may be their second, third, fourth, fifth shooting that they have had to respond to...and then you throw in a fatality, a serious car crash, a domestic violence, a child abuse, in between, and you expect cops to be flawless every single time? Yeah, that’s not going to happen. We do our best but we are far from perfect...,” said Police Chief with the South Bend Police Department, Scott Ruszkowski.

Common Council members, the police department and group violence interventionists said it will take the entire community to turn this all around.

“And it’s the community as well that’s suffering from these psychological traumas that are going on,” Ruszkowski said.

“It’s easy to point fingers at somebody else. It’s another thing to point a finger at yourself, when you aren’t raising your own children,” said Hunt.

Those in attendance said they want to: “reach kids when they are young and help their families too,” and “start building more relationships” and “let people know they matter.”

“We need to start teaching kids how to be a critical thinker...When you think about the consequences it ain’t fun no more...” said a participant.

The police department said you can do your part: If you know something, say something.

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