South Bend Common Council reacts to recent violence - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

South Bend Common Council reacts to recent violence

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More than five days now and still no charges in the death of a South Bend Toddler.

Police say John Swoveland, Jr. was killed by a stray bullet on Campeau Street last week as he was playing outside.

Police continue to plead with the public for help.  If you know anything about who may have pulled the trigger or the circumstances leading up to the violence call Crime-Stoppers.

Monday night the South Bend Common Council met for the first time since the toddler's death so we caught up with some council members to get their reaction to the violence.

Dr. Fred Ferlic said, "It's a tragedy beyond proportion.  It's unexplainable and it has dire consequences for our city."

Dr. Ferlic said the city has a responsibility to address the recent violence.  "We need a tax base in South Bend and if crime continues we're not gonna have a tax base cause people won't live here."

Councilman Derek Dieter is the chair of the Health and Public Safety Committee.  He said his committee will be looking at ways to curb the violence.  "We can make recommendations especially to the rest of the council for the upcoming budget."

They haven't made any firm decisions yet but Dieter hopes the recommendations will include more police officers.  "I know the police department is down 15 people already.  But I think the beats must be increased, more officers on the streets," said Dieter.

That's an idea Dr. Ferlic agrees with.  But he said it can't just be police.  He said neighborhood watch programs, businesses, and non-profits all have to come together to fight crime.  "I'm optimistic we can solve it but it's the elephant in the room and we have to approach it.  We can't just let this pass."

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