Initiatives aim to bolster community and police relations in South Bend

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South Bend, Ind. -- Good police work isn't something that happens automatically; it's the result of community partnerships and longstanding trust.

That's something that Police Chief Scott Ruszkowski is hoping to improve in the City of South Bend.

Tuesday on 16 Morning News, he joined us to talk about some new and continuing initiatives they’re working on.

One such effort is a door hanger that officers will use to let residents know about a gunfire incident that happened near their home. The hanger includes the information in both English and Spanish (see photo gallery below).

They are also currently accepting applications for the upcoming Citizens Police Academy, which starts on March 1. Those interested should send in their application by Feb. 23.

The nine-week academy meets on Tuesday nights from 6-8:30 p.m. through April 26. The class size is limited to 40 people and is free. Click here for the application and more details.

Meantime, criminologist David Kennedy was in South Bend last week advising the community on its ongoing Group Violence Intervention partnership. “South Bend Group Violence Intervention” will mark its two-year anniversary in the spring. Kennedy said early indications are the violence associated with groups is moving in the right direction.

“South Bend Group Violence Intervention” is a partnership among 30 community leaders in law enforcement, government, education, civil service, healthcare and faith-based agencies.

Organizers say it “unites community leaders around a common goal – to stop gun violence and keep South Bend’s highest risk residents alive and out of prison.”