NewsPublic Affairs / March 25, 2014

Community Violence Prevention Plan Unveiled

Last August, community organizations began working on a plan aimed at reducing violence in Indianapolis. It was released, Tuesday. 2014-03-25T00:00:00-04:00
Community Violence Prevention Plan Unveiled

In June of 2012, Andre Stennette Herrod was driving home from a concert when a car pulled up and opened fire killing the 21-year-old Ball State senior who had his own company.

His mother Sabrina Stennette says he was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

"You can think you've prepared your child to stay away from all of the violence and put them in a great position, but sometimes violence just finds them for whatever reason," she said.  "So, we all have to understand that this is a problem that affects all of us not just a certain group of people, but everybody."

Stennette participated in engagement sessions used to put together the new Crime Prevention and Reduction Plan.  Community organizations and the Department of Public Safety unveiled it, Tuesday.

She thinks it will be effective because it requires action, not just conversation.

"We are all bringing in the youth and we are all getting involved with the same things, so as we all come together with our pieces, we can make a whole puzzle," said Stennette.  "We can all bring it together to make it a strong result for the kids and have them involved with it, as well."

Work on the the plan started last August and included nine listening sessions.  It is modeled after work done in Memphis and Minneapolis.

There are four parts – intervention and prevention, community mobilization, suppression, and advocacy.

"I can't say it will stop violence.  I can't say it will stop crime, but it will decrease crime.  It can decrease violence.  We can quit losing so many of our babies on these streets, " said Regina Marsh of Forest Manor Multi Service Center.  "We talked about mental health.  We talked about mentoring.  We talked about several different areas that can decrease crime, but it has to be an action plan.  It can't be something that sits on the shelf and we just assume it's going to happen."

Marsh hopes it gives residents and the city’s youth a sense of responsibility for fixing the problems.

"It's important because those are the folks effected by the crime in those communities, but sometimes feel unempowered to be able to deal with the violence that is in their community," she said.  "We've got to start at the bottom with the folks who have ideals, they have energy, they have time and they want to be part of the solution."

The plan calls for community activities including a youth lock-in Saturday. It’s one of five scheduled events over the next two months.

"This plan has heard the cries of parents, of young boys and girls who are crying out for help," said Clint Johnson, program director of YouthBuild Indy.   "This plan is infused with a new introduction to culture.  It provides care, direction, inspiration, and most of all this plan provides hope."



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