Checking-in after South Bend's second gang call-in - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Checking-in after South Bend's second gang call-in

SOUTH BEND - "Too soon to know," said South Bend Police Lieutenant Dominic Zultanski about whether or not last night's double shooting was gang-related. But should the police investigation lead back to gangs, he says the department is prepared to uphold its zero-tolerance policy on gang shootings.

"We're ready to fulfill our promise if that's what somebody chooses to do," said Zultanski.

It's been six days since last week's call-in. While it's too soon for the police to measure gang-driven violence, Zultanski says he's already seeing a difference in the way officers interact with residents. 

"We have officers passing out popsicles to kids on the corner," said Zultanski. "Those things mean a lot to our community."

He says building trust is a big factor in the success of the gang-violence-intervention program. Perhaps one of the biggest indicators of that trust, is the fact that most of the men following through with the program this time around, are not referrals, but men who attended the call-in.

"We don't want to send anybody out to fail," said social services outreach spokesperson  Issac Hunt of Goodwill Industries in Michiana. He says he received 17 phone calls after last week's call-in. Of those calls, three men have already completed the intake process at Goodwill. It's a three-hour background interview to determine whether or not candidates are ready for employment. 

"Settin' them up to fail is what they've been through all their life," said Hunt. "And that's what we're trying to change."

As for the four men that did not attend the call-in. Two of them are now in jail. There's an arrest warrant out for the third. And the fourth now faces stricter probation sanctions.
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