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Leaders look to curb crime in South Bend

SOUTH BEND, Ind.— South Bend community leaders are spoke up Tuesday after a rash of violent crimes shook the city last week.

“We have the resources, we must have the will to say ‘enough is enough,’” said Karen White, a member of the South Bend common council.

Those leaders held a joint press conference at the Civil Rights Heritage Center.

Many of them believe it’s senseless and has no place in this city.

South Bend’s police department is working to curb crime as much as it can.

SBPD has made 163 gun-related arrests in 2017 and took 298 guns off the street during that time.

"I have been begging, pleading myself, personally, as the chief of police and as a police officer for more than 30 years. This has got to stop,” said South Bend Police Chief Scott Ruszkowski. “We need to stand with you. More importantly, we need you to stand with us."

It was a call to action for a crowded room from folks tired of mourning another loss in this community.

The testimonies about slain family members from those who spoke Tuesday night were far too similar to the stories others listening had.

And after a week of several shootings, they’ve had enough.

“It’s just a matter of time. If we don’t turn this thing around we’re destined for a destroyed community,” said Bobbie Woods, of Mamas against Violence.

They’re looking to stop the destruction that has already devastated South Bend this year.

17 homicides hit the city in 2017 and 16 of the victims had been shot.

The total number of South Bend shooting victims this year is 99.

“These are preventable, avoidable and they’re senseless, period,” said Chief Ruszkowski.

Preventing another tragedy is the message these leaders wanted to send.

And organizing to ensure it was their mission.

“In the next couple of weeks or so, we will convene a meeting and begin to talk about these kind of problems and what’s next,” said community leader Lynn Coleman.

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