Indy conference addresses growing concerns over teen violence

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Indianapolis, Ind. (June 27, 2015) – Teens from all across Indy took part in Mission 28:19, a ministry event that aims to spread awareness about problems with youth violence in the city.

“The main focus is to reach out to the students of Indianapolis and get them plugged in somewhere. That is our whole goal. The music and the speakers are just the draw for students. We want to help them make connections with businesses, colleges, youth groups and more so they can get off the violent streets of Indy,” says Pastor Rob Hovermale.

Mission 28:19 youth counselors go to different areas of Indy to meet with teens and talk about ways they can help lower the crime rate.  Organizers say one of the best ways to do that is to give teens something to do.

“The message to the kids is to tell them that you do not need the drugs, you do not need the alcohol. You do not need to stay out until 3 a.m. and try to fit in with all of the other guys.  There is nothing down there but just jail and death,” says Pastor Jeffrey Pitts Jr.

Earlier this month a 14 year old boy was arrested for shooting and killing an 18 year old girl on the city’s north side.  Public safety officials have been working on a community-wide solution to the teen violence problem.

“It is disappointing that you could be 14, take somebody’s life, and not even think about it,” says Issac Whitten a member of the youth violence initiative.

Each and every day the group says they work to stop the shootings, robberies, murders, and other senseless crimes in the city, partnering with IMPD and public safety officials on ways to stop the violence.  But, as is evident from the past month, organizers say more needs to be done


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