Gun violence on the decline in South Bend

NOW: Gun violence on the decline in South Bend

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Gun violence is on the decline in South Bend.

Police released the latest statistic at their quarterly crime stat meeting Tuesday morning.

Showing a 48 percent decline in the number of shootings over the past 4 years.

The numbers show the trend has continued into the first quarter of 2024.

Officials say it’s too early in the year to compare.

The majority of folks grabbing lunch downtown told ABC57 how safe they feel in the city, especially with crime numbers down as Mayor James Mueller reported in his State of the City Address last week.

Part 1 crimes, down 9% in 2023 from 2022 and 19% from the pre-pandemic peak.

Mayor Mueller says they are still working to ensure residents all across the city feel safe.

"So, if you go knock on the door of any of our residents, a lot of them will say this is their top issue. What are you doing about safety?,” said Mueller.

The city attributes their success to a number of strategies, programs, and new technologies being used by the SBPD.

Those technologies include, Flock, which is used to recognize license plates, shot spotter, and sync South Bend that allows residents to register their home security cameras with the city.

On top of being fully staffed, and their high closure rates.

"If we knew what was the most effective, obviously we would direct more resources, but right now we have all these different approaches and so far we seem to be making progress,” said Mueller.

Shooting victims were down nearly a third from 2022 to 2023, with an increase in illicit guns removed off the street, but Mayor Mueller says there is more work to be done.

"No one is declaring victory right now, but it is good to see these trends continue,” said Mueller.

Police Chief Scott Ruszkowski also credits the hard work of the department.

He says any number of crimes in the city is too high.

"Analytically, it is phenomenal. Anywhere in the country they would be bragging about this. We don't. It's above 0.. we shouldn't have any of these,” said the Chief.

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