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Examining crime in South Bend in 2017

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — South Bend’s police department plans on doing more to crack down on crime this year after seeing a spike in shootings in 2017.

And while crime across the board dropped last year folks living near troubled areas would like to see police do more as well.

By the numbers, crime was down significantly in the city last year.

The number of arrests was down by more than 600 and there were nearly 4000 less calls for service.

But officials took note of violent crimes.

“Obviously we had an uptick of shootings from 2016 to 2017, none of us at this table and none of us not at this table are happy with it,” said SBPD Chief Scott Ruszkowski.

Last year closed with a sobering reality for South Bend: 102 people were victims of gun violence.

“Our priority number one has got to be those bullets leaving the gun,” said Chief Ruszkowski.

Out of 102 shootings 16 were deadly.

Across the county, Mishawaka and St. Joseph County Police both only reported two deadly shootings in 2017.

A year before that, both St. Joseph County Police and Mishawaka Police’s murder rates were stagnant.

However, South Bend saw fewer homicides last year.

But still officials with SBPD say even just one is too many.

“You have an entire community over 100,000 people that are affected, someway, somehow by this,” said SBPD Chief Scott Ruszkowski.

One of those communities affected is the LaSalle Park Neighborhood.

“This area feels neglected not only with the police department but with the city of South Bend as well,” said one neighbor.

Folks living here would like to see more relief from law enforcement because they say shootings near their homes aren’t uncommon.

In fact, a deadly shooting happened at their neighborhood park this past summer that left many nearby uneasy.

“Until we start seeing some attention from the city and the police department, we’re going to feel that way,” the same neighbor said

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