INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – During the past several weeks, Indianapolis and the State of Indiana have been granted more than $3 million in federal funds to battle violent crime, build community responses and protect and educate young Hoosiers.
Most recently Indiana school districts received word they would be getting $1 million to fund school violence prevention and mental health services while IMPD and the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office was advised there is more than $1 million headed their way to enhance gun evidence collection and prosecutions.
“What our position involves is a deputy prosecutor who will, along with IMPD investigators, get information back and say. ‘Yes, now that we have determined that that shell casing that you found out on the far east side is from the same weapon that was found at a scene in Haughville,’ for example,” said Prosecutor Terry Curry.
U.S. Attorney Josh Minkler’s office will receive $422,000 in Project Safe Neighborhood funds, a $162,000 increase over this year, to pay for youth, community and re-entry programs.
“We’ll be educating particularly our youth in middle school and high school telling them about the dangers of gun crime and the consequences in gun crime. Things for our juveniles and youth to do other than be out on the streets,” said Minkler. “Crime prevention grants. Working in the neighborhoods working with police departments, with faith based communities, with community grass roots organizations to build that trust, to have those community grass roots organizations have a better relationship with law enforcement.”
So far this year, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana has accepted 171 gun, drug and violent felon cases for prosecution in the U.S. District Court where Minkler boasts a 95 percent success rate for guilty verdict or pleas and incarceration in the federal prison system where offenders serve at least 85 percent of their sentences.
“We’ve charged a lot more people in federal court,” said Minkler. “Charged a lot more people with guns, a lot more guns have been taken off the street, a lot more drugs have been taken off the street, a lot more trigger pullers have been taken off the street.”
Minkler said he expects the coordinated effort between federal and local authorities and renewed attention from the Department of Justice to turn the corner on Indianapolis’ record-setting murder and aggravated assault tallies in the year to come.