Local leaders respond to shooting violence in South Bend
SOUTH BEND, Ind. — On Monday, a South Bend Common Council committee meeting on health and public safety in the city touched on tall grass and disorderly homes.
Although, the recent violence in the city did not make it on the agenda on Monday night. The past week’s shooting incidents weighed heavy on several council members, including Councilwoman Jo Broden.
“Random or not the bottom line is we have a member of our community who is missing who is no longer a part,” she said.
Baljeet Singh, 24, and Edward McCurry, 34, were shot and killed in the city last week. According to tweets from the South Bend Police Department, there were four shootings resulting in death or injuries in one week.
No one has been taken into custody.
“There’s a high degree of fear,” Broden said.
Broden said she’s frustrated with the availability of guns in the community. She places a priority on programs like Group Violence Intervention and mentoring opportunities for young people.
Currently, the council is in the middle of making the city’s budget for 2020. The police department is asking for nearly $50 million.
“That’s how we undercut this, that’s how we get out ahead of it, that’s how we share values,” said Broden.
But on the frontlines police officials told ABC 57 News that in order to curb this violence the community needs to speak up.
“The problem is we’re short on resources so that makes it more difficult for us to patrol but we really need support from everyone,” said Harvey Mills, South Bend FOP #36 President.
In a statement to ABC 57 News Police Chief Scott Ruszkowski wrote the following:
“Violence in our city is unacceptable and senseless. It will take all of us working together to improve the safety for everyone in South Bend. It is imperative that people come forward with information to help investigate and prevent future shootings and violence.”
Mills said officers are a responding to these incidents every single day.
“It’s tough on the officers and certainly for the families who've lost someone or had someone injured,” he said.
Police data shows that in 2019 nearly 80 people are victims of shootings in South Bend. Broden said to the families that local leaders want to support them.
“And also bring real action real solutions and not give up,” said Broden.
You can call 911 if you see something in progress. Call 574-235-9201 or CrimeStoppers at 574-288-STOP to report anonymously.