INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – State and city officials are celebrating with TenPoint Coalition on the one-year anniversary of curbing fatal violence to the far east side of Indianapolis.
A representative from Attorney General Curtis Hill's office, IMPD, Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett, and Lawrence Mayor Steve Collier talked about TenPoint Coalition’s continued work to make the areas between 38th and 42nd streets and Post and Mitthoeffer roads safer.
The area hit a milestone of no youth homicides and non-fatal shootings in the last year. That's when Anthony Eldridge, 35, was found killed inside a vacant town home in the area.
TenPoint has already seen success in neighborhoods like Butler Tarkington and Crown Hill. It's the fourth area the coalition has worked in see at least a one-year gap between fatal shootings.
Pastor Charles Harrison, the president of the coalition, credits the organization's grass root model for making positive change.
"What our people on the street do is they help identify those issues and individuals so we can get them help, beyond just trying to keep the peace in the neighborhood," Harrison said.
Police have taken notice, too.
To date, Marion County has had 56 criminal homicides. At this time last year, the count was at 66 fatal shootings.
"It's definitely a template, right," said IMPD Chief Bryan Roach. "When you see it working in so many areas, that's collaborative effort."
Chaquita Croney is a mother of four and has lived in the area for ten years. She's noticed the difference in the past year and has relaxed when it comes to allowing her little girls to play outside.
"Before, the crime rate was, you couldn’t trust anybody," said Croney. "But now, I can take them to the park and everything is alright."
A fifth neighborhood, near 29th Street and Doctor Martin Luther King Jr. Street, is on pace to reach the one-year mark in the fall.
Harrison said the next step is to expand the coalition's model throughout Indianapolis and get other organizations and groups to work the streets to protect more neighborhoods.
"That’s what we’ll have to do if we want the numbers to go down significantly," Harrison said. "So, we’re not just celebrating one area or a few neighborhoods, but the whole city can take pride in the fact that we haven’t stopped at all and, yet, we’re bringing those numbers down and saving lives."