Kokomo plans to begin TenPoint Coalition within weeks in two neighborhoods

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KOKOMO, Ind. -- People are noticing the success of the Indianapolis TenPoint Coalition's model and want to adopt it in their communities.

Indianapolis board president Rev. Charles Harrison said 37 cities across the country, along with two communities in South Africa, have reached out to him to express interest.

"Putting boots on the ground will be a part of the strategy, but there will be other things that need to be done to really address the root causes of the violence and get in front of it," Harrison said.

Kokomo has the ball rolling and plans to send teams out in two neighborhoods as soon as next month. Local faith leader said they are tired of the violence in the northeast part of the city, particularly in the Carver neighborhood and the area around Jackson, Jefferson, Taylor and Mulberry Streets. Two weeks ago, Dayshon Sanders, 19, was killed in this area.

"There's been a lot of recent violence here and shootings in the city, and I think people are kind of fed up with what we see across the country in cities," Harrison said.

Alfonso Carter is the youth pastor at the Mount Pisgah Missionary Baptist Church, where Rev. Harrison met with the community for a meeting about the TenPoint Coalition and how to make it successful. After hearing the message, Carter is ready to support.

"Our pastor teaches us the importance of being proactive instead of reactive," Carter said. "Trying to handle the problem before the problem even comes to the table."

Rev. Harrison also brought up the TenPoint Coalition in Fort Wayne. They have been working with neighbors for 11 months now.

"They are close to a year without a homicide in their four zones, but the greater news is that the city itself has seen a 50% reduction citywide in homicides," Harrison said. "That's just remarkable."

After hearing from residents about the needs in Kokomo, Rev. Harrison will work with his team on the best strategy.

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