Local churches seek out young men to help stop violence

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INDIANAPOLIS – The 46218 zip code where Officer Perry Renn was murdered is one of the most violent areas of Indianapolis.

Since Officer Renn’s murder, pastors in that community tell FOX59 they will step up efforts to reach more young men.

Malachi Walker leads Young Men, Inc. in the community.

“The program teaches them to make good decisions in life,” said Walker.

Young Men, Inc. is currently holding its 20th Annual Male Summer Empowerment Camp and currently has 92 young men enrolled, between the ages of 9-17.

Tuesday, at the site where Officer Perry Renn was shot and killed, Young Men, Inc. will present and participate in the high honors ceremony and prayer vigil.

“We want the IMPD family to know that we respect them, appreciate what they do, and that we care about the safety and well-being of the officers and are willing to promote peace, healing, and unity throughout the streets of Indianapolis,” said Walker.

The young men will also make a pledge against violence.

“They also give their oaths to public safety. They will obey them and respect them as long as they live,” said Walker.

Pastor Darryl Webster with Emmanuel Missionary Baptist Church says the problem in this area is single-parent households. Webster says young men in the 46218 zip code need a father figure.

“The tragedy and travesties that occur in our community is not because there are not programs and ministries or organizations out there to help people. I want to say to any young boy that might be hurting, find a church and I guarantee that the church won’t turn you away,” said Webster.

Members of Young Men, Inc. presented a similar ceremony for Officer Rod Bradway when he was killed in September.

The high honors ceremony will begin at Noon at 34th and Forest Manor, the site of the murder. Members of the community, IMPD, and the Forest Manor Neighborhood are invited to gather together for a show of support and unity for the Renn Family and the community.

“We got to get them at an early age. There is hope,” said Walker.