INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department is reaching out to the community to help tackle the city's gang problem. IMPD and the Mayor's office hosted a gang awareness conference Saturday morning at Monument Lighthouse Charter School.
"Its our effort to do proactive policing. Prevention, intervention, suppression and reentry are the themes we're talking about today," says IMPD Chief Rick Hite, who was at the Saturday conference.
Chief Hite says he needs the community's help to put a stop to the violence before it happens.
He brought in the best from the department to teach people what to look for whether it's graffiti, gang signs or even sounds, hoping it will help stop a crime before it even happens.
"Reactive policing is responding to a scene where a crime has occurred, where maybe a homicide may occur. Maybe we could stop that body from dropping in the first place," says Chief Hite.
Tametra Johnson's 13-year-old daughter has already had run-ins with police. She says, even though her daughter isn't in a gang, the conference can help parents just like her become more aware, of what's going on around them.
"I think the program is a good program because it helps the community not only help parents like us to look out for our children, for us to know what's to come, and what's going on, so we can defend them or help them to teach them," says Johnson.
Chief Hite says, while Indianapolis' gang population isn't large it can still cause a lot of damage. He hopes reaching out to the community can save at least one person.
"Its a small percentage of people who cause a great deal of harm, but we want make sure though that the young people know there's a chance to get out of a gang," says Chief Hite.
Chief Hite points out, parents need to be more aware of social media as that has become the new tool in gang violence.
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