Police, community leaders kick off weekend aimed at ending violence

Gun Buy-Back Program

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Concerned Clergy of Indianapolis has designated Nov. 2 through Nov. 4 as “Indy Cease Fire Weekend” with a job fair, a gun buyback program and messages of nonviolence from the pulpit.

This comes as Indianapolis enters the final two months of 2018, with the city on track to set another record for murders.

A job fair is set for Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Martin Luther King Junior Center in South Butler Tarkington. There, organizations and employers will talk about job opportunities, training programs and community-based social services.

Saturday, the weekend will be highlighted by a $40,000 gun buyback program.

Police statistics indicate through the end of August, IMPD responded to 642 stolen, recovered or found gun reports. At least 242 involved thefts or recoveries from vehicles.

The initial buyback will set the tone for a similar campaign through 2019 that could expand the compensation for turning in a firearm to electronics or services that would encourage young people to participate. Organizers expect mothers to be a driving force in convincing their households to surrender firearms during the buyback.

“It does start with the moms because there’s a lot of single mothers even their children are being incarcerated,” said Donita Royal, founder of Mothers Against Violence.

“I’m surprised at the moms who know that their children have weapons and illegal things,” said Debera Larkins Greene. “I’m surprised, but I can’t judge them.”

Those who bring in guns will receive Visa gift cards starting at $100.

The buyback program will be followed by calls for peace from the pulpit on Sunday. Faith leaders across the city are encouraged to bring messages of nonviolence to their congregations.

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