Crime prevention initiative tackles gun violence through opportunities

Another round of shootings over the weekend has South Bend officials anxious for a crackdown on gun violence.

Monday, the city’s common council met with leaders of the Group Violence Initiative (GVI) to discuss this problem, pushing more opportunities as a solution.

The program has been around for more than three years and quite a few officers involved say their seeing significant strides being made because of it, partly because this allows law enforcement to work with the community to solve this problem.

“It’s law enforcement, the community and social services, working together and independently toward the goal of keeping people safe and reducing gun violence in our community,” said Kyle Bombrowski, a South Bend police officer and GVI Operations Manager.

This group is blurring the imaginary lines that once separated police and the community in order to prevent more lines of police tape from popping up around the city.

“One bullet really affects 300 lives in so many ways, resident Sue Kesim.

This group is turning to former culprits of violence and looking at reform as a tool for prevention.

“So people just don’t know where to go or turn so we have that door open for them to get that help that they need if they want it,” said Dombrowski.

They’re looking to provide opportunities to those who need it the most.

“In the ways of education, job training, it might just be a conversation, we might help them with other interests, with getting an ID,” said Isaac Hunt. GVI Supervisor. “It’s about building that moral character and getting them to understand killing someone is wrong.”

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