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Peacemakers to hit Indianapolis streets as part of gun violence reduction program

Peacemakers will work to identify high-risk individuals and then provide short- and long-term guidance.

INDIANAPOLIS — Mayor Joe Hogsett announced the hiring of 35 new peacemakers on Wednesday. The peacemakers will lead Indianapolis’ grassroots gun violence reduction efforts over the next three years.

Peacemakers will work to identify high-risk individuals and then provide short- and long-term guidance to helps with employment, housing, mentorship, and other resources necessary to prevent an individual from becoming a victim or perpetrator of violence.

“Our new class of Peacemakers will play a critical role in reducing violence in neighborhoods across Indianapolis,” said Hogsett. “This announcement represents a dramatic increase in the number of team members out on the street reducing violence, connecting with at-risk residents to guide them towards a better path."

The peacekeepers will hit the streets on Jan. 24. The city expects to hire 15 more peacemakers soon.

The program is part of Hogsett’s $150 million violence reduction plan. The money comes from the federal American Rescue Plan pandemic relief funds. The Peacemaker program will receive $37.5 million over the next three years.

Peacemakers are comprised of three different positions: interrupter, life coach, and outreach worker:

  • Interrupters work to stop a conflict that has the potential to turn deadly immediately before or while a crime is happening, including retaliatory violence.
  • Outreach workers assess whether an individuals’ risk factors—including employment status, age, education level, and prior criminal justice involvement—require more intense, personalized support.
  • Those individuals are then referred to life coaches, who work with clients up to 18 months to develop a “Life Plan” away from violent crime.

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