City-County councilor working to give Indy community groups $400K in effort to fight crime

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Following another record breaking year of high crime and homicides in the Circle City, Republican members of the City-County Council are asking neighborhood groups to step up and help curb crime. Council members know that it will take money to make that happen.

“We need more resources in our neighborhoods to stop young men from becoming part of our criminal justice system,” said Rev. Clarence Moore of INDY CAN.

As law enforcement officers continue to battle high crime, investigate unsolved murders, and work to curb public safety problems. City-County Councilor Jeff Coats is pushing to get more neighborhood crime fighting groups out in the streets.

“They are local, I think that most of the folks live in the neighborhoods that they patrol and they can prevent problems before they become huge issues,” said Coats.

The only problem is finding the money to fund them.

“I would like to allocate $400,000 to be used for public safety crime prevention grants-- specifically aimed at street level intervention,” said Coats.

Councilman Coats says there is plenty of cash that has built up over time in the city’s fiscal stability fund and council members can use that money however they see fit.

If the council does vote to approve the $400,000 grant, the Central Indiana Community Foundation will choose which groups will get the money. The foundation focuses the most resources in the high-crime areas around the city.

“The organizations that are getting the grants are a big part of the community and have relationships with residents that are using the services. We see the programs as a comprehensive strategy approach within the focus areas,” said Alicia Collins of the Central Indiana Community Foundation.

There are strict rules about who that money would go to and with more than 100 community groups trying to get funding, it is very competitive. Each group must submit financial plans and proposed strategies to reduce crime. If the group does not have a plan, they do not get the money.

“We want those organizations that can meet the challenge of these dollars because we have to report that information back to the city to show how successful it was,” said Collins.

Councilman Coats will present his funding proposal at the next council meeting. It could take months before that money ends up in the hands of community leaders.

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