How will South Bend continue to fund new Group Violence Interven - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

How will South Bend continue to fund new Group Violence Intervention Strategy?

How will South Bend continue to fund new Group Violence Intervention Strategy?

Posted:
A follow-up on a new crime fighting strategy in South Bend.  The City's Anti-Violence Commission met for the first time Tuesday night since last week's Group Violence Intervention call-in.

At the call-in police met face-to-face with influential gang and group members to talk about ending the gun violence.

Tuesday the anti-violence commission discussed how the new strategy is going and more importantly, what it will take to continue in the future.  There was one common message, Sgt. Dominic Zultanski said, "This is not a program, this is not a thing, it has no end."

But a contract with a National Crime Prevention Group does end.  The Community Foundation of St. Joseph County signed a contract with and agreed to pay David Kennedy and John Jay College's Center for Crime Prevention and Control for one year to help implement this new strategy.  The one year is up September 14th.  Program Manager Rose Meissner says the Community Foundation and it's funding partners,  like Beacon Health and St. Joe Regional, will continue to help pay for the strategy past that date.  "We're playing the long game here," said Meissner.

So far they're on the hook for 237-thousand dollars.  But Meissner said there may even be leftover money from the current contract.  "We may not fully expend the money we earmarked for this and if we haven't I'm sure that will carry on into the next year."

Meissner said long-term she doesn't see it being a problem to continue to get people to fund this Group Violence Intervention Strategy.  "We could expect when we get the results we're intending to get, this will be a fabulous use of community resources."

South Bend Police Chief Ron Teachman said he hopes the community continues to step forward with funds.  "I hope it comes from the community, we get public support and private support, private donations, private businesses."

Meissner tells me they'll look at specifics on how to move forward within 60 days of the end of the current contract.

Chief Teachman said they anticipate having more call ins because that's how it's gone in other cities.  He said the next one could be in about 90 days.

Meissner said they'll look at specifics on how to move forward within 60 days of the end of the current contract.

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