As part of an effort to curb a statewide increase in violent — and often drug-related — crimes, the Indiana Attorney General’s Office is offering financial resources to help cities around the state implement the crime prevention model employed by the Indianapolis Ten Point Coalition.
Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill announced at a Wednesday news conference that his office will dedicate $500,000 to facilitate the replication of the Indianapolis Ten Point model in other crime-ridden areas of the state. The funds are meant to be seed money only, Hill said, and could likely support the roll out of Ten Point techniques in five or six Hoosier communities.
Through a community-led crime reduction effort, Hill said the Ten Point Coalition has established a record of successfully reducing crime in some of Indianapolis’ most violent areas. The coalition collaborates with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department to engage with members of crime-ridden communities and learn about the problems plaguing those communities.
Then, using the information gathered through community conversations, Ten Point volunteers work to equip citizens – particularly young people ages 14 to 24 – with tools and resources that can help them avoid criminal or dangerous activity. Rev. Charles Harrison, who leads the coalition, specifically mentioned job engagement resources, as helping young people find jobs where they can be productive often helps them avoid illegal activity.
“My office is investing in a proven model,” Hill said. “The return on that investment will be safer communities. ITPC has been a vital resource in Indianapolis neighborhoods where homicides and other crimes have been ‘just another day in the life.’”
Harrison said its work focuses much of its efforts on four historically violent neighborhoods in the 46208 ZIP code, where Ten Point’s crime reduction efforts have led to a marked decrease in violent crime. Harrison, who joined Hill at the Wednesday conference, said three of those neighborhoods – Butler-Tarkington, Crown Hill and Highland – went an entire year without a homicide.
IMPD Commander Michael Jefferson, who oversees the northwest district, an area of particular focus for Ten Point, said part of the coalition’s success is that it enables citizens to share news of possible crime they see in their neighborhood without the fear of reporting something to police. Instead, Indianapolis residents can share their concerns with the coalition, which then, in turn, shares important information with IMPD.
Though the seed money is meant to enable other communities to replicate the Ten Point model, Hill said his office will not force any communities to mimic everything the coalition does. Instead, the funds will be used to take Ten Point techniques and mold them to meet the unique needs of a specific city.
But like in Indianapolis, local leaders and residents will be expected to use their community-based resources to expand the model they develop.