Faith leaders are encouraged city leaders are listening, not lecturing

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — IMPD officers could be training on a reformed Use of Force policy within the next month. Mayor Joe Hogsett announced an 8-point proposal during a news conference on Friday.

Community members can read the proposed plan here. Faith in Indiana leaders received praise from Hogsett today for their advocacy for changes to some police policies in hopes of bettering officer-neighbor relationships.

“We got to this point because the governor, the mayor, the police chief, other city officials, are listening,” Pastor Richard Reynolds of New Revelation Christian Church said. “They’re not lecturing. They’re recognizing that they don’t have all of the answers, but many of the solutions that are needed are actually going to come from our community.”

A group of three pastors, and members, of Faith in Indiana gathered for interviews following the mayor’s announcement. They caution people to see this as a “milestone step in the process of climbing the mountain of racial injustice which still exists in America and unfortunately even in Indianapolis.”

The city said the proposed changes are expected to be voted on by the General Orders committee next week. Once passed, IMPD officers will review it and should begin training on it July 6.

Faith leaders affirmed they will play an active role in ensuring changes are made.

“Our next steps are that the mayor is true to what he has said publicly, make sure that he puts it on paper,” Pastor Clyde Posley of Antioch Missionary Baptist Church said.

The mayor also committed to proposing more money in the 2021 budget for the Group Violence Intervention strategy. According to a news release from his office, “This investment will bring additional staff and resources to bear in an effort to interrupt the cycle of hopelessness and violence that has gripped too many Indianapolis young people.”

Rena Allen, a community advocate, explains a major role of the Group Violence Intervention strategy is to interrupt cycles of violence by a particular person therefore keep them from going to prison or hurting someone else.

“Just imagine if we’re able to do that and not only save a lot of Black males that should be at home with their families, they should be able to be husbands, should be able to be fathers,” Allen said. “Then be able to go out there to save someone else.”

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