Indy’s community violence reduction team zeroes in on domestic violence, plans to add more positions

Indianapolis Crime

INDIANAPOLIS — The city’s community violence reduction team is a small group with boots on the ground, working to stop further crime in Indianapolis. Since January 1, Director Shonna Majors said the team’s interrupted 66 incidents that could have resulted in more killings.

Majors said the team’s noticed a surge in domestic violence incidents, and it’s a tragic trend still growing.

“We’ve had such an uptick in domestic violence,” Majors said. “We’ve really made sure that we’ve had a focus on that specifically.”

IMPD classifies domestic violence homicides as those happening between two intimate partners and any other person killed in the same incident. As of March 18, 2021, the city has mourned 11 people killed in these incidents. In 2020, a total of 19 people were killed as a result of a domestic violence incident. In 2019, 13 people were killed.

The violence reduction team hopes to work with more grassroots organizations and survivors to support people to get help safely.

“It’s more critical than ever that we get everybody that has something to do with domestic violence involved in this work,” Majors said.

The violence reduction team plans to add a deputy director of violence reduction by this summer. They will focus on reducing homicides, domestic violence and work to further identify those most at-risk of becoming a victim or suspect of crime. Majors hopes to add a program director as well.

“Someone who can work with victim assistance, IMPD, our Julian Center, Coburn Place,” Major said.

The team said the pandemic prevented much of their hands-on, face-to-face efforts to meet people and families. They are looking forward to hosting more outdoor events with the community this Spring and Summer.

“When we do these outreaches, we bring resources,” Tony Lopez, Community Resource Coordinator and Gun Violence Reduction Strategy Manager, said. “We hope that through that, we build a rapport with the community which can then also help when it comes to crime reduction.”

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