Gun Violence in Indiana: Ten Point Takes the Message Statewide
SOUTH BEND, Ind.--In South Bend, ministers are talking about how to stop shootings and other violent crimes in their neighborhoods. In Indianapolis, a group of ministers has been getting together with people in the neighborhoods and walking, talking and helping cut down on crime by putting people on the right track.
The Ten Point Coalition has long had plans to expand. With support from Indiana Atty. Gen. Curtis Hill, Vice-Pres. Mike Pence, Gov. Eric Holcomb, and other people of substantial influence, the organization has a solid plan to move into other cities in 2018.
"In the last few weeks I have been to Gary, South Bend. I'm going to Evansville, and then on the 8th we have a team that will be in Ft. Wayne," said Rev. Charles Harrison, one of the pastors who leads the Indianapolis Ten Point, which is modeled on what has worked for some neighborhoods in Boston.
"In 2018 we should have anywhere from four to seven cities across the State of Indiana," said Harrison, of the plan to educate people in those cities on how to cut down on violence.
The Indianapolis Ten Point has received accolades from Pence and Holcomb, as well as an award from the FBI for its success.
Residents in the neighborhoods walk together. The ministers engage the people who might be at risk, and people who have formerly been drug dealers and gang bangers work to convince young people that the street lifestyle can ruin lives.
The group also works with police.
One of the neighborhoods the Ten Point patrols and where the group is fully engaged is the Butler-Tarkington neighborhood in Indy, where there has not been a murder in over two years.
Harrison said the plan ts to target neighborhoods, and not necessarily the whole city. A group in Muncie, trained by Ten Point, is mimicking the Indianapolis effort.
"In the cities that are experiencing this high level of urban youth gun violence, you will see Ten Point replicated, and they're gonna target specific neighborhoods," said Harrison.
PHOTO: Chris Davis/Emmis