New crime prevention plan starts Tuesday in Indianapolis

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It takes more than police and politicians, it takes neighbors in every part of the city.

That's the message from the creator of a new crime prevention plan for Indianapolis.

Regina Marsh of the Forest Manor Multi-Service Center has been spearheading the effort for seven months. It was developed with 90 people and 60 different community organizations and on Tuesday morning, Marsh will present that plan to the public.

The plan includes specific goals and timelines for implementation and kicks off with a new kind of training for Indianapolis neighbors. People all across the city are invited to become "violence interrupters."

Directly from the documentary about Chicago's "Interrupters," Ameena Matthews will train neighbors Tuesday night on how to prevent violent crime that's now strangling our city.

Matthews is a senior violence interrupter with Chicago's CeaseFire Project and Marsh believes she'll have a big impact on our community.

"This is an opportunity to become an interrupter before it happens. How to safely have a conversation about interrupting - conflict resolution. No matter what word we put on it, it's conflict resolution," Marsh explained.

Growing violence and homicide rates have community leaders searching for new ways to combat violent crime. Interrupters are part of that strategy - targeting neighbors who police often hear from after a murder, saying the same thing.

"'We knew this was coming. They had been beefing'," Marsh said. "You know, 'I knew they didn't like each other. I've been watching this happen and I knew this was the outcome.'"

Marsh says in addition to the Interrupters event, the new crime prevention and reduction plan has specific goals and timelines to reach them. Among those goals, the plan focuses on better community policing, getting more people in neighborhood crime watches, connecting at-risk youth with mentors and identifying what triggers the violence in the first place.

IMPD Chief Rick Hite attended all the meetings in creating this plan, which Marsh says this plan is about action - not just by police and politicians, but every neighbor in every Indianapolis neighborhood.

"We all have a stake in what's going on in our community. It really affects all of us and if we don't work together, it will affect us all," Marsh said.

A news conference is scheduled for 10 a.m. to unveil the crime prevention plan. The kickoff, where people can learn how to become "violence interrupters", will take place at 6:00 p.m. Tuesday, at the Charles A. Tindley Accelerated School at 3690 Meadows Drive.