INDIANAPOLIS — A historically violent weekend last month in Indianapolis sparked a renewed public safety effort.
Starting this coming weekend, six former members of the Ten Point Coalition will be back on the streets, beginning at 38th and Mitthoeffer before patrolling other hot spots as needed.
Seeing eight people become homicide victims in a single weekend last month, some retired community activists decided it was time to try and make a difference once again.
“I feel like I should do more,” said Ernest Turner. “I feel empty if I’m not doing anything, if I’m not involved.”
Ernest Turner patrolled Indy’s east side with the Ten Point Coalition for several years before stepping away from the work, but this Saturday he’ll return to the streets to try and share a message with potentially violent offenders.
“I try to make them realize you’re throwing your life away and the life of so many others, so why not stop and lay your guns down,” said Turner.
“I think the more boots on the ground we have, the more it will help,” said Reverend Charles Harrison.
Reverend Harrison said his former Ten Point Coalition workers are concerned by the level of violence they’re seeing across the city.
So far this year, IMPD reported there have been 71 homicides, which is fewer compared to the same time last year, but still higher than any other recent year.
“If we ended this year at the rate we’re going, it would be the second highest number of homicides we’ve seen in the history of the city. That is too much violence and we have to do more to bring the numbers way way down,” said Harrison.
“That’s one of the reasons I want to return. There’s too much violence,” said Turner.
Reverend Harrison also plans for Ernest and the other peacekeepers to go beyond the neighborhoods Ten Point has traditionally patrolled.
“We’re going to extend more than we have in the past and go outside our areas to help with the violence we’re seeing city-wide,” said Harrison.
Harrison also hopes to bring back even more former members by the end of the month but admits funding those workers remains a challenge.