INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — A unified strategy is underway in Indianapolis to prevent more homicides, shootings and stabbings during a year that could see a record-breaking amount of homicide victims.
The different actions were agreed upon by the City of Peace Coalition, Mayor Joe Hogsett, along with IMPD’s Chief Randal Taylor and Assistant Chief Chris Bailey.
“I thought the discussions were very productive,” Hogsett said. “They were very constructive.”
The coalition presented a six-point plan to Mayor Hogsett’s administration earlier this summer. So far all but one, bringing back a public safety director, has the stamp of approval.
Nearly all IMPD district commanders have reached out to the leaders of the coalition, including Rev. Charles Harrison, to discuss where some “hot spots” for crime exist in their areas.
“It’s my hope that every district at some point will work with the coalition,” Bailey said. “We have to be careful that we don’t spread ourselves too thin because everybody has limited resources. So, while each of the districts and their commanders has resources they can use to address their specific issues, the coalition might not have the resources to spread out all across the city all at once. So what we tried to do is locate a couple areas where we know we can have the most impact now.”
Bailey worked with Harrison and the TenPoint Coalition for years when he served on North District. Harrison said the peace walks across the city will be modeled after TenPoint which works to prevent youth homicides in neighborhoods across the city. Their model is also being used across the country.
“You have OGs, violence interrupters, they’re going to be in the area,” Harrison explained. “Plus you’re going to have the people doing the peace walks, the public safety walks. We’re going to have a lot of people in the area for longer hours during the day to help try to curb the violence.”
Plus, the walks draw upon the success of the west side community ministers in Haughville.
“We just need to expand it into other areas,” Harrison explained. “It is a much larger area where we have hot spots at than what we used to have.”
Another agreement is the implementation of rapid response teams of clergy and community members who will go to “high profile” shootings and homicides to support family and prevent retaliation.
“It de-racializes policing so that you have Black leaders, residents from these high-crime neighborhoods working hand in hand and with law enforcement, and they are a part of the strategy to help curb the violence,” Harrison said.
Other strategies include peace in the streets ads on billboards, yard signs and the radio. Harrison said they are also bringing back parent patrols downtown near the mall and the canal to engage youth.
“Those are the five things that we can do immediately,” Harrison said. “We all agreed on doing those things.”
IMPD, Hogsett and the City of Peace Coalition are willing to work with any grassroots organizations who would like to help. If you would like more information, you are asked to contact the IMPD district commander in your area. More information is available at www.indy.gov.
“The IMPD is, has been and always will be a partner to TenPoint Coalition and any group that wants to make positive change in the community. We’re willing to work with any group.”