Police and volunteers work to make downtown safe - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Police and volunteers work to make downtown safe

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INDIANAPOILIS -

There is no hiding the fact that the night will bring people to Circle Centre Mall with no interest in what is being sold. 

A local faith group has had experience cutting down violence and crime with these types of people, but that experience will not help if they do not show up. 

"The last time they laid low 3 or 4 months, because there has been so much attention paid on what happen last week we don't expect them tonight" and that is exactly what happen according to Reverend Charles Harris of the Ten Point Coalition.  

The Ten Point Coalition has been down this road before, almost like clockwork once or twice a year police and clergy converge on Circle Centre Mall to deal with a small but troublesome group of young people.   

There was a shooting last week near the mall, minutes later officials prompted this response according to Reverend Harris, "We can't use these types of resources week after week downtown to try to babysit a whole lot kids".  

Resources like more than 100 police officers, security at every entrance and surveillance cameras everywhere. 

And like a sentinel on the sidewalk every Saturday night is Ricky Walton, who for two years has collected donations for his church outside the mall entrance.

He says the trouble makers coming out of mall have robbed him; a scar on his forehead is another memento from the kids. And his years on the streets has taught him a thing or two, "Don't be like me that is what I tell them stop hanging in the street go the library and read, get a life," says Walton. 

Indianapolis Metro Police department had expected the worst tonight, "We were fair but firm with several of the young people inside.  We had one issue in terms of probation violation," said Chief Rick Hite.   

The kids also expected the police tonight and according to members of the clergy the kids went to another mall Saturday night.

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