SOUTH BEND – With his trademark energy, former Notre Dame men's basketball coach Digger Phelps introduced his game plan to stop teen violence and take back South Bend streets.
After a month marked with teen violence, including a shooting during a teen dance at the Century Center, Phelps said “Enough.”
His plan, introduced during a luncheon Wednesday, is simple:
- Community policing, including our police department and neighborhood watch teams to control youth violence and keep their communities safe.
- Drug and gun free school zones.
- Mentoring: Phelps wants to recruit 500 mentors by the end of the summer.
- After school and career programs to help students, but he's also counting on community centers to serve a bigger role.
Phelps said this is a team effort.
"We have to take care of South Bend," said Phelps. "We have enough assets in this community to do it."
"Digger cares about this community enough to ask a lot of people to be part of the team," said South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg. "Everyone needs to help"
Phelps’ Wednesday lunch meeting at the Morris Inn was a buildup to a town hall meeting at the Kroc Center Thursday, May 10 at 6:30 p.m.
"It's not going away," said Phelps. "The random violence, especially with the drive-bys, it can happen anyplace, anytime."
"It's wrong and we as people can make this change," said Phelps.
"We'll do everything we can at the leadership level to help, but it really has to come from the neighborhoods, from the community," said Buttigieg.