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Council committee gets progress report on initiatives to curb Indianapolis gun violence

"This is not going to be a fix after one year,” said the director of the city's office of public health and safety.

INDIANAPOLIS — A City-County Council committee met Wednesday to hear progress on programs working to put an end to violence in Indianapolis.

Two initiatives, the Peace Makers Program and the Elevation Grant Program, are aimed at curbing gun violence in the city. Both will take time to see results, according to those overseeing the work.  

"This is not going to be a fix after one year,” said Lauren Rodriguez, director of the Office of Public Health and Safety. 

Rodriguez addressed members of the council's Public Safety and Criminal Justice Committee. 

“We're not going to see a complete reduction, zero homicides, zero shootings in one year, but you will see how it's impacted our community,” Rodriguez said.  

So far, 42 people have been hired as part of the Peace Makers Program to work at three different levels, according to Rodriguez.

Interrupters focus on stopping conflict before it begins.    

RELATED: Indianapolis City-County Council Committee meeting to discuss violence reduction initiatives

Outreach workers meet with those at risk of being involved with gun violence and identify services to prevent it, working even in schools from Warren Township to Ben Davis and North Central.

And life coaches work one on one with individuals in need of help, whether it's job coaching or getting access to mental health services.  

"The target audience, in general, is to make sure we get those who are either perpetrators or victims of gun violence,” Rodriguez explained.  

RELATED: IMPD plans to focus on violent criminals, guns and recruiting in 2022

The Elevation Grant Program will focus on getting money to nonprofits that combat violence in neighborhoods. In the past, those were called crime reduction grants. The mission isn't changing, just the name.  

"They're still reducing crime, that's the overall goal, but the name itself is changing," Rodriguez said. "We're not going to focus on the negative all the time. We're going to focus on the positive that's already being done in our community.” 

The number of homicides in Indianapolis so far this year is 43. That’s down from the same time last year, when the number was 55.  

According to IMPD, 41 of those were intentional or considered murders. 34 of those deaths were from shootings. 

As of Friday, IMPD said there had been 100 non-fatal shootings with 111 victims. 

RELATED: Mayor Hogsett announces violence reduction grant recipients

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