South Bend is on track to see one of the most violent years in recent history. Right now, nearly 90 people have been criminally shot, 14 people killed, and that number continues to rise, according to South Bend Police Chief Scott Ruszkowski.
On top of that, police are seeing an increase of people racing through and eventually blocking roads and intersections for hours at a time, specifically on the weekends and intentionally. We have residents complaining about shots fired, fireworks, loud noise, fighting, consumption and other disorderly behavior-while not even being able to drive down their street or leave their homes due to these mass gatherings.
As well, officers, firefighters and paramedics are having a difficult time reaching those who have an emergency due to roads and intersections being blocked. The added time it takes to go an alternative route could prevent a life being saved. They are also experiencing the same difficulties trying to leave incidents in order to respond to other ones because of these intentional gatherings, Ruszkowski said.
Starting this weekend, Chief Ruszkowski says there will be extra patrols on duty. Officers will pull over speeders, drivers with expired license plates, drivers traveling recklessly and more. He says police won’t hesitate to ticket drivers or impound vehicles, if necessary.
Ruszkowski says the extra patrols will be backed up by St. Joseph County Police and Mishawaka Police, if needed.
He also said the extra patrols will continue for several weekends.