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Indianapolis community leaders hold discussion on crime, pandemic

covid and crime panel
Posted at 11:04 AM, Feb 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-27 11:04:32-05

INDIANAPOLIS — Faith leaders joined IMPD, the Marion County Public Health Department and others Saturday for a conversation about how crime and COVID-19 are related.

"When our children aren't safe to go to some of our friendly neighborhood stores, or skating, or the museums [or] Chuck-E-Cheese, that's an issue for me," Tamara Harris, founder of Smart Family Development, said.

Harris organized the town hall. She's lost loved ones to COVID and violence and knows she's not the only one.

"Our streets are crying out, and it's time to get involved," Harris said. "People's hearts are heavy. They're afraid to leave out of their homes."

Health Department Director Dr. Virginia Caine joined IMPD Deputy Chief Kendale Adams along with other community leaders and residents to talk about a variety of topics, from mental health to community-police relations.

"We believe we are a part of the solution. But there has to be folks that are in this space from mental health, to poverty, to education, to faith based, in order to holistically address the issue of crime in our communities," Adams said. "We're never going to stop violence if we don't address these root causes of the issue."

Caine hopes the town hall leads to her agency and others collaborating to address those issues.