INDIANAPOLIS — Starting Monday, 35 new "peacemakers" in Indianapolis begin their job to reduce violent crime in the city. There are three different positions: interrupter, life coach, and outreach worker. Life coach Daniel Mallory calls it a team effort.
“I think it’s important and imperative that we have these teams," Mallory said. "One person can’t do it alone. It takes a village."
The three-year effort is part of Mayor Joe Hogsett's $150 million violence reduction plan. The group will identify high-risk individuals and provide them with short- and long-term guidance to achieve employment, housing and other resources necessary to keep them away from violence.
“That’s the number one goal to reduce crime, especially homicides. It’s not going to happen overnight," said Mallory.
Dee Ross is a community organizer and founder of the nonprofit The Ross Foundation. He regularly works with individuals impacted by gun violence, and said he believes the city should consider additional ways to reduce violence.
“Fund grassroots organizations that have relationships in that community to do the work. Support them and sustain them over a period of time versus just throwing a grant at them," said Ross.
However, Mallory said this is its own investment .
“Everybody in this city is part of a family, and we all want to feel safe in the city. We don’t want to continue to be the problem. We want to create the solution to the problem,” said Mallory.
They also want to let people know they’re listening.
“We have the resources and the capabilities to be able to help. I tell a lot of people all the time, if I reach one person and have the opportunity to help them increase their way of life and help them become successful, then I feel like I’ve done my job, and I’m satisfied with that,” said Mallory.