INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — City leaders and police depend on building one-on-one relationships between neighbors to help curb Indy's violence. They also focus on connecting people to resources to help prevent them from committing crimes.
Indy's city leaders and police do not want crime to exceed the levels they are now with 153 criminal homicides in 2019. That's only a three percent decrease from last year.
On Wednesday, police, elected leaders and community advocates banded together to talk about solutions. Those working with grassroots organizations in town say they are successful in stopping crime. They proved it through stories and data.
Shonna Majors, the city's director of community violence reduction, said information from an IUPUI analysis shows a reduction in overall crime in the areas served by the organizations that receive grant funding from the city. Five grassroots organizations receive $60,000 from the Community-Based Violence Reduction Partnership.
"Majority of them have already busted past what they said they would do," Majors said, reminding the audience they are only halfway through the year, the time period in which they measure them.
Majors said they tried something by inviting 45 people who are at-risk or closely related to violent crime to talk with them about services. Officers also talked with the group about the reality of the path they walked. Thirty-seven people are participating.
37 people are participating.
"None of them are dead, none of them have picked up new charges, new convictions," Majors said.
This spring, neighborhood walking clubs are lacing up. Majors says her office's Peacemakers will join neighbors, clergy and other advocates to stroll through the neighborhoods in hopes of building one-on-one connections.
"We really just want to empower our neighborhoods to take care of themselves with everyone's help," Majors explained.
The Indianapolis TenPoint Coalition is doing a training session with them, as TenPoint shares its formula with teams across the country. The city's groups are focused on neighbor to neighbor rapport and TenPoint focuses on gangs and drug dealers.
"When you have this collaborative partnership like you have seen in Butler Tarkington, Crown Hill and UNWA, Highland Vicinity where you have seen significant reduction in violence, that's what works," Rev. Charles Harrison, TenPoint's President, said. "When you have everybody working together."
Efforts which connect people to each other in hopes of saving lives. If you would like to hear all the details from Wednesday's meeting, we included a livestream here.