Indy Ten Point Coalition announces plans to expand to other cities

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Leaders with the Indy Ten Point Coalition announced plans Tuesday to expand their crime-fighting efforts into other cities in and around Indiana.

Reverend Charles Harrison said group leaders will travel to Gary Wednesday for a meeting with the mayor and other city leaders about the possibility of starting a new Ten Point Coalition there. On Thursday of this week, the group will travel to Louisville to finalize plans to start a new Ten Point Coalition in that city.

“The first thing is to talk with leaders and residents in the city,” Harrison said. “To begin to talk about beyond the issue of the gun violence, what do they believe are the systemic causes of the violence.”

Further down the road, Harrison said Indy Ten Point Coalition is in talks with other cities including Kokomo, Fort Wayne, Evansville and Cleveland. Harrison and other Ten Point Coalition leaders believe their model for reducing youth gun violence could have success in those cities. Harrison pointed out recent success in the four Indianapolis neighborhoods where the organization patrols.

Harrison said the Butler-Tarkington neighborhood has gone 623 days without a youth homicide. United Northwest area has had one youth homicide in 825 days. Crown Hill neighborhood has gone 597 days without a youth homicide. Highland Vicinity neighborhood, where Ten Point recently expanded, has gone 330 days without a youth homicide.

Harrison said youth homicides involve people between the ages of 12 and 24.

“So we are excited about the efforts of Ten Point working in collaboration with police and other community groups, and we believe that this is a strategy that helps reduce our youth urban gun violence,” Harrison said.

The Ten Point Coalition works as a sort of “middle man” between police and residents in neighborhoods affected by violent crime. Members can often be seen wearing reflective yellow vests at homicide scenes, and walking patrols at night. Coalition members work to talk to residents affected by crime about the root causes of violence in an effort to diffuse ongoing problems before they escalate into further violence.

An effort to expand into other cities has support from the office of Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill.

“To regionally help expand this model that we believe, that General Hill believes, is a model strategy in dealing with urban violence among youth,” said Indiana Chief Deputy Attorney General, Aaron Negangard.

Expanding into other cities will require new sources of funding, Harrison said. Typically, it takes at least $30,000 per year for the Indy Ten Point Coalition to cover a neighborhood with patrols and outreach workers. Ten Point currently covers four Indianapolis neighborhoods. The group recently received a $50,000 grant through public safety funding, which is paid for by Marion County taxpayers. Harrison said that money will not be used to expand into other cities, but will instead remain in Indianapolis.

Tuesday’s announcement also included the naming of Paul Norris as the new interim executive director for the Indy Ten Point Coalition. Norris, a former Butler University football player, brings a law enforcement background that includes IUPUI Police Department and University of Virginia Police Department.

Reverent Charles Ellis, Jr., who formerly served as executive director, will now serve as the Ten Point Coalition’s statewide director. Reverend Charles Harrison will assist Ellis while serving as president of the board.