INDIANAPOLIS–Leaders in the City of Indianapolis believe their gun violence reduction strategy is working.
IMPD said homicides are down 14.5% from this time last year and non-fatal shootings dropped by 12.5%.
The program utilizes members of the community in three roles — violence interrupters, outreach workers and life coaches. The fellows in the program are hand-picked to work with the coaches in this program.
Marvin Smith is one of the 38 peacemakers in Indianapolis. He spoke about the progress being made to the Public Safety and Criminal Justice Committee Wednesday night.
“I have many stories like that to where we have stopped crimes from actually happening,” said Smith. He finds people who appear to be going down a violent path and helps them find a job, get mental health counseling, or find a place to live. Smith works primarily with men between the ages of 18 and 35.
Michael Murphy oversees 16 outreach workers.
“Being in the streets daily, most of the problems is resources, lack of resources. Put poverty around a mentality of hopelessness and I only know one way to get money, here comes violence,” said Murphy.
The City’s Office of Public Health Safety,
This is an expensive program the three-year plan will cost $150 million but advocates said it is worthwhile because it is saving lives.
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