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Ten Point in Chicago: Indy Group Visits Possibilities of Helping There

Chicago is a violent city. But, Indy's Ten Point Coalition hopes there's a chance to help change that, even if it's just a little.

CHICAGO--If the Ten Point Coalition model is going to work to help reduce violent crime in neighborhoods in Chicago, it will have to be modified. But, Ten Point leaders from Indianapolis and Gary felt it was worth the effort to visit the Windy City, last week.

"The trial of a police officer that shot a young man 16 times in Chicago, was on the minds of people in the room," said Rev. Charles Harrison, talking to Abdul-at-Large's Abdul-Hakim Shabazz.

LINK: Rev. Charles Harrison talks with Abdul at IndyPolitics.org.

He said trust was a big concern. For Ten Point's methods to work, there must be trust between the police and the community, at least to some degree. In some Chicago neighborhoods, where violent crime and shootings have been rampant for four or five decades, trust is at a minimum.

"Many clergy, community leaders felt that was lacking in Chicago, and that may take some time to build the kind of trust and collaborative partnership that Indy Ten Point has with IMPD," said Harrison. IMPD members accompanied Ten Point leaders.

"Some people were concerned about the police-action shootings of unarmed black men, and they seemed to have a greater concern about that then the high number of homicides."

Harrison said the way they've built trust in Indianapolis, Gary and other Indiana cities may help in Chicago. That's by using former gang members as liaisons with the gangs in the neighborhoods.

"I do think the concept of using 'OGs' (original gangsters), ex-gang members as interrupters or street outreach workers can be effective," said Harrison, "if we can use the right people in the right neighborhoods, who really have the street cred, and have some relationship with the gangs and the cliques that exist in these neighborhoods."

Harrison pointed out that Chicago used to have a group that was very similar to Ten Point, that walked neighborhoods, developed relationships between the cops and the community, and was somewhat effective in helping cut down on crime.

But, interested waned and the group, which was, like Indianapolis, based on Ten Point Boston, disintegrated.

It was unclear if last week's meeting in the Pullman neighborhood, near the Indiana border, will lead to Ten Point establishing a Chicago chapter.

PHOTO: Chris Davis/Emmis

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