INDIANAPOLIS — The fight against violent crime is something the Indianapolis Ten Point Coalition has been advocating for over 20 years.
Now, the city of Indianapolis is getting on board with the group's methods.
The city recently announced it will be investing $45 million in grassroots organizations over the next three years. The coalition is one group that says it plans to apply for those funds.
“We are now in six areas in the city,” said Rev. Charles Harrison, the board president of the Ten Point Coalition. “We are supporting two other neighborhoods, so we are now really in eight areas — and there are a lot of other neighborhoods that have asked us for help.”
The Ten Point Coalition was established in 1999. Volunteers with the coalition patrol neighborhoods from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m while engaging with at-risk youth. The group also creates activities for them to participate in.
“We open the gym, and we have basketball,” said Anthony Neal, boot patrol for the Ten Point Coalition. “What made us start that is because the age group that we are dealing with, they had nothing to do. So, the pastor opened the gym and we’ve been doing this since 2003."
Data from 2016 provided by the coalition shows this approach is getting results.
Here's what the data says:
- Highland Vicinity has gone 365 days without a youth or adult criminal homicide five times over six years.
- Butler Tarkington has gone 365 days without a youth or adult criminal homicide four times over six years.
- Crown Hill has gone 365 days three times over six years without a youth criminal homicide, and two times over six years without an adult criminal homicide.
- 38th to 42nd Street between Post and Mitthoefer roads went 365 days without a youth or adult criminal homicide once over two years.
- 38th to 42nd Street between Mitthoefer and German Church roads went 365 days without a youth or adult criminal homicide once over two years.
- Carriage House East Apartments south of 42nd Street has gone 365 days two times over 26 months without a youth or adult criminal homicide.
The organization says adding more routes and boots on the ground is the best course of action for fighting violence across the city.
“When they are out there selling drugs and out there involved in criminal activity, you have to go to be out there with them,” said Harrison. “So that’s how you start building relationships and building trust with these young people.”
With the city investing in organizations like the Ten Point Coalition, the number of consistent boots on the ground will be able to increase.
“I believe it will help if you put the funds in the right place,” said Neal.
The organization says they are now working with other cities across the country to help create programs modeled after theirs. The coalition has established similar programs in Fort Wayne and Gary.