Anti-violence campaign launches, organizers call for all-out effort from Indy community

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INDIANAPOLIS— Indy’s experiencing a major violence problem, and the community’s call for action and solutions is intensifying. Now, a new campaign recently launched called “Stand Together for a Safer Indianapolis.”

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The effort is two-fold, it’s a marketing and awareness campaign to hopefully unite our community against violence. So far, “A Safer Indy” has launched a Facebook page and a Twitter account.

If the city budget passes, the group will be able to use money to put up billboards around the city and fully launch their website which will include resources for mental health care, food access and housing.

“Normally we would wait until we had all of that ready, but the gun violence and the homicides won’t allow us to take a year to get everything in place,” Matthew Steward, organizer, said. “So, we are moving at the speed of what is happening out there in the community.”

The group is currently comprised of 14 community partners including the North Shadeland Alliance, Health & Hospital Corporation and IndyGo. They also work with the city’s violence reduction team.

“Focus on the perpetrators and potential perpetrators of the gun violence,” Steward said. “So, reaching out to them, finding out what their needs are, trying to address those needs.”

Steward, a retired longtime Indy police officer, said the way every person can get involved in this urgent effort is by joining their community watch group or starting one.

“The community can best drive and make sure that our entire city is safe,” Steward said. “The more CrimeWatch Block Clubs that we get in place that are meeting monthly, that are talking to each other, the better off Indianapolis will be.”

For more information about Neighborhood CrimeWatch Block Clubs, visit www.indy.gov.

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