South Bend Police focus on gun violence at monthly crime stat meeting

NOW: South Bend Police focus on gun violence at monthly crime stat meeting

SOUTH BEND, Ind., --- The South Bend Police brought back its community crime stat meetings aimed at informing residents about crime data every month. The hot topic of Wednesday night’s meeting was gun violence in the city and ways to help get those numbers down.

Nearly two dozen people came out to the meeting not only to learn about last month's crime data, but to work together with police to help tackle crime, especially gun violence.

“My mom still lives in the same house two streets over from me, but in the past five years it has become really dangerous,” said life-long South Bend community member Komaneach Wheeler.

Wheeler was among others that got another chance to make their voices heard at Wednesday night’s crime stat meeting, where the police department put a big focus on gun violence, a growing problem both here at home and nationwide.

“We’re asking for their help. Anytime they hear shots fired we need those phone calls. Any slight information that they think might help not help law enforcement often times I don’t think people realize just by calling in saying you heard shots just outside your house that’s beneficial to us,” said South Bend Police Department Assistant Chief Dan Skibins.

Police said the number of shots fired jumped from April to May by nearly 60 cases with majority of those on the city’s west side, something SBPD hoped to reduce with the help of the community and technology.

“With our numbers being down in the police department we utilize shot spotter connect and that’s one of the ways that looks at historic gun data, gun violence and recent stuff so the last few weeks and that helps us determine where those officers need to be,” said Assistant Chief Skibins.

Although deadly gun related incidents fell from this time last year officials have still called on the community for help curbing the troubling trend so the problem doesn’t any get worse.

“Those who live in those neighborhoods they know what’s going on often times and just pointing us in the right direction can get us started in the right direction,” explained Skibins.

“Do it for someone else. A community effort together, help heal something. That’s what we supposed to do is taking a stand against the violence,” added Wheeler.

The monthly community crime stat meetings were on hold due to COVID, but started back again this year.

They will be held the second Wednesday of every month at 6:30 pm at the South Bend Police Department and they encouraged all community members to come out if they can.

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