June 6, 2018

Indianapolis Invests In Violence Reduction Efforts

The first Director of Community Violence Reduction, Shonna Majors, speaks at Bellamy Park about Indianapolis' holistic effort to fight violence and crime.   - Sarah Panfil/WFYI

The first Director of Community Violence Reduction, Shonna Majors, speaks at Bellamy Park about Indianapolis' holistic effort to fight violence and crime.

Sarah Panfil/WFYI

Indianapolis has a new community-driven crime prevention effort. Mayor Joe Hogsett announced the first Director of Community Violence Reduction, Shonna Majors, and a new grant program to fund local solutions.

“All of these things working together, I think today is a day we’ll look back on as finally addressing this mindless menace of violence," Hogsett says.

Majors, an Indianapolis eastside native, will hire and oversee local activists called Indy Peacemakers, as well as distribute the grant money to organizations that promote violence reduction programming.

Majors says she will take a holistic approach to violence prevention and coordinate with the community.

Ashlee Weaver, a neighborhood development specialist who works on the eastside, says she’s excited to see the city prioritize and fund community-based violence prevention.

“I think this is the first step to tackling employment issues, education issues, transportation issues, hunger, all of those things that then create an element of violence,” Weaver says.

The Community-Based Violence Prevention Partnership will invest $300,000 into Indianapolis neighborhoods this year, and an additional $1 million over the next three years. 

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