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INDIANAPOLIS — Building back trust in police officers is still one of the cornerstones of a plan by Indianapolis city leaders to cut down on violent crime.

As part of the $150 million in American Rescue Plan money being pushed by Mayor Joe Hogsett to tackle the issue, it will include funding for 50 “peacemakers” to operate in troubled neighborhoods. They would be civilians tasked with working on the ground level to stop violent crime before it happens.

“Gun violence is tightly concentrated on a small number of individuals who have several high-risk factors,” said David Muhammad, executive director of the National Institute for Criminal Justice Reform.

Muhammad said his organization has been working with city leaders to figure out where the violence has been happening the most in Indianapolis and what factors are playing into it. He says they did a “deep, details analysis of gun violence” in Indianapolis.

But he says one perpetrating factor that has been consistent thus far in the surge in violence is a lack of trust in law enforcement by members of the community.

“When you have distrust in law enforcement you have an increase in crime and violence,” Muhammad said.

He added that accountability is key and a good example of that is what happened with Sgt. Eric Huxley this week. He’s the officer who is charged with battery and misconduct for using excessive force during an arrest caught on a body camera earlier this year.

“You saw the chief of police come out and very emotionally say this is not what we stand for, we are suggesting termination for this officer, and this officer was charged by the county prosecutor,” Muhammad said. “I think that is the kind of accountability that the public wants to see.”

The $150 million in crime prevention funding is part of a $1.3 billion budget for the city in 2022, which is expected to be discussed by city leaders in a City-County Council meeting set for Oct. 27.