Volunteers step up to help secure Black Expo - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Volunteers step up to help secure Black Expo


Religious leaders are turning to volunteers to help increase security at Summer Celebration, which started Thursday.

Reverend Charles Harrison with Ten Point Coalition spoke to about 40 volunteers Thursday night at a west side church about the challenges they would face working downtown during Black Expo.

"Some of the kids are going to have weapons down there. They are. Some of them come packing," Harrison said.

He warned the parent volunteers what they could find when they put on yellow vests and walk downtown streets during Expo. They'll help split up large groups, talk with troubled kids who need an ear, listen for signs of trouble brewing and report it.

"We are not the police. Amen," Harrison reminds volunteers.

Volunteer Sheila Felder, a mom, says "being an adult, you have more respect - they give you more respect."

She's volunteering to help young people and think being a mom gives her an edge with teens police don't have.

"Sometimes kids listen to other parents more then they listen to their own parents," says Rhonda Taylor, who said she's volunteering to save kids' lives.

They hope to have between 100-150 volunteers on the streets during Summer Celebration.

Parents and other adults are invited to volunteer for safety patrol training. More sessions will be held on July 15 & 16 at 7 p.m. at Barnes United Methodist Church, 900 W 30th Street, Indianapolis. Call 317-923-9197 to sign up for a training session. 

Volunteers meet at 6:30 p.m. Friday & Saturday night during Summer Celebration at Indianapolis Urban League, 777 Indiana Avenue.

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