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South Bend police chief addresses violent incidents in Facebook video

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Screenshot captured via Facebook

South Bend Police Chief Scott Ruszkowski recently took to social media to address a series of violent incidents in the city.

In a video posted to the department’s Facebook page Tuesday, Ruszkowski said violence over the Easter weekend wasn’t just local.

“Nationally, for whatever reason, this long holiday weekend has been devastating to many communities — and we are not exempt from that,” he said.

Ruszkowski cited a large fight that began on the grounds of Navarre Middle School and “continued for several blocks,” as well as an uptick in police calls to Howard Park.

While there’s no foolproof predictor of violence, he said altercations tend to increase as the weather improves.

“It’s more opportunity for people to get out and to interact,” Ruszkowski said. “Some of those feelings may have been festering over the not-so-nice months, and when those paths cross, people don’t forget what somebody said on Facebook, Instagram or whatever.”

Ruszkowski encouraged anyone who finds themselves in an altercation this spring or summer to “walk it out and talk it out,” or to seek out a mediator.

“We should not be putting sheets over people,” he said. “We have a strong community of 105,000 people — it takes a village, and the village needs to intervene.”

Ruszkowski also encouraged parents to increase supervision of their children as the summer months approach.

Contact Gemma at gdicarlo@wvpe.org or follow her on Twitter at @gemma_dicarlo.

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Gemma DiCarlo comes to Indiana by way of Athens, Georgia. She graduated from the University of Georgia in 2020 with a degree in Journalism and certificates in New Media and Sustainability. She has radio experience from her time as associate producer of Athens News Matters, the flagship public affairs program at WUGA-FM.