Indianapolis leaders call on parents to take back the streets
Indianapolis leaders are calling for volunteers to take back their city. They want an army of adults downtown next weekend.
The plan involves training more than 100 men and women to help manage the thousands of teenagers expected to flood downtown for Summer Celebration.
Indianapolis mother Denitra Liggans has signed up to be a new first-time parent volunteer for Summer Celebration. She will work downtown in designated areas called safety zones to manage crowds of young people and look out for potential trouble.
"Nobody wants to be subjected to hearing gunshots or kids fighting," she said.
This week, public safety leaders along with Indiana Black Expo organizers announced plans to keep visitors safe. Although hundreds of police officers will on the streets during the event, safety patrol volunteers will also be watching.
The Ten Point Coalition wants to recruit and train at least 150 men and women.
"We are not the police so if a fight breaks out, we don't get involved in that. We let the police do their job," said Rev. Charles Harrison, Ten Point Coalition.
The coalition volunteers will meet Friday and Saturday nights at the Urban League, load up on church buses and head downtown. Although this is Liggans' first time doing safety patrol work, it probably won't be her last. The city's recent violent crime wave has taken its toll on Liggans and other mothers..
"I just want to take my community back. I want it back. These are our kids and there is something that needs to be done," she said.
Liggans and other Coalition volunteers will wear bright orange vests with the words "safety patrol" on the back.
Last year the coalition had about 80 men and women serves as eyes and ears for officers working Summer Celebration. Church leaders say it's worked the past two years, and despite the past violent ten days, they pray it works again this year.
Parents and other adults are invited to volunteer for safety patrol training. Sessions will be held on the following dates and times:
July 11 Thursday 7pm
July 15 Monday 7pm
July 16 Thursday 7pm
The training takes place at Barnes United Methodist Church, 900 W. 30th Street, Indianapolis. Call 317-923-9197 to sign up for a training session.
Volunteers meet 6:30 pm, Friday and Saturday night during Summer Celebration at Indianapolis Urban League, 777 Indiana Avenue.