SBPD provides quarterly update at public safety meeting

Published: May. 11, 2023 at 6:36 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - The South Bend Police invited members of the media to sit in on their quarterly public safety meeting.

Following the May 10 crime stats meeting, they provided an update on gun violence this year versus last year.

Officials say there is a slight increase in gun violence incidents, but there have been fewer victims and more illegal guns taken off the streets compared to last year.

They also urged the community to take an online survey to help them better understand how the police and residents can improve their relationship.

“The officers have their own survey to fill out,” says South Bend Police Chief Scott Ruszkowski. “We will compare what the officers have said or what they think or what they think should be happening, and then we’ll compare that when we compile the information from the community. So, we have been looking at what’s the middle ground, where do we start, what our foundation is. Now the whole city has an opportunity to have input on what they think or believe that our community relationship with the police department should be and vice versa.”

They tell 16 News Now that the Real Time Crime Center is up and running, with 117 city-owned and businesses-owned integrated cameras and nearly 600 additional cameras from businesses and residents.

With, residents and businesses can send videos to police to assist them in solving crimes.

“It makes investigations that much more efficient,” says South Bend Police asst. Chief Dan Skibins. “Through SyncSouthBend, we can send direct emails to individuals or business owners if a crime occurred in their area and ask them to review a certain timeframe that they may have a video of. And so, they can email that evidence back in, or our detectives can also go out.”

South Bend Police have also begun installing Flock License Plate Reading cameras in or near parking garages.

They hope to connect all these cameras to the Real Time Crime Center by the end of May.

And Michiana Crimestoppers is launching a concentrated awareness campaign to ask the public for additional help solving some homicides cases from 2022, like the killing of 53-year-old Johnnie Lee Johnson.

“It was May 12,” says Lt. Kayla Miller with the Michiana Crime Stoppers. “It was very sunny; it was warm. There were a handful of people outside. He was shot and killed in front of his house in front of his child, and there were people outside that did not say a word to police and have not come forward. This campaign is perfect because it gives people the opportunity; it’s people from this community and people from that area that are traveling within that mile radius, and so that allows for them to just click that ad and submit an anonymous tip.”

Additional cases they are working on solving include the homicides of Alexis Morales and Dionte Williams.