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INDIANAPOLIS — City leaders highlighted the city’s crime-fighting efforts this year at a prayer vigil Sunday.

So far this month Indianapolis has seen just four people killed by way of intentional homicide (murder). That’s compared to 18 people who were murdered throughout the whole month of March in 2021.

“I don’t want our young folks, I don’t want any of our folks, but especially our young folks, to get too used to the sound of gunfire,” said Chief Randal Taylor of Indianapolis Metro Police to the gathering at First Trinity Lutheran Church.

Mayor Joe Hogsett said those numbers show that in the early going the city’s latest efforts to prevent crime are working.

“Rather than take a top-down approach where police or the mayor are telling the community what’s in their best interest, I think it’s much more effective as I just said, to listen,” he said.

Listening efforts and programs to engage with the community on a grassroots level are all part of an effort to use $45 million in American Rescue Plan money to fight crime.

Hogsett says he is working with the U.S. Conference of Mayors to learn how other cities the size of Indianapolis are addressing issues with violence and hopes to adopt some of the more successful methods.