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City says Violence Reduction Strategy working, murders down across the city

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The Gun Violence Reduction Strategy is working; homicides, murders and nonfatal shooting incidents are down across Indianapolis.

Homicides were down 15.77%, murders 14.58% add nonfatal shooting incidents 12.68% as of Dec.12, 2022.

Dane Nutty, the Indy Public Safety Foundation president and CEO said, “That reduction is significant, obviously above goal, but higher than what we’re seeing in other large metropolitan cities so we feel very good about that. Looking to next year a 10% reduction every year is an ambitious goal but one that we feel we can do.”

This program utilizes members of the community in three roles — violence interrupters, outreach workers and life coaches. The fellows in the program are hand-picked to work with the coaches in this program.

Marvin Smith, an Indy Peace Life coach said, “If you meet six of the eight, criteria you get assigned to a life coach like myself. And that means you are a high-risk individual of either shooting someone or actually being shot.”

As a life coach Smith works primarily with men who are 18 to 35. They could be associated with a violent group, have been involved in gun violence in recent months, are unemployed or have a lack of education. He gives them the tools to get on the right path.

“If they don’t have a way to be able to provide for themselves or to be able to provide for their families the only thing left is crime, so I want to provide them another way to be a man,” Smith said.

This is an expensive program the three-year plan will cost $150 million but advocates said it is worthwhile because it is saving lives.

“Those are people, right? Those are lives that were not lost,” said Nutty. “I know they say one life saved makes it all worthwhile but 14.5%, that’s several dozen people that weren’t killed.”

The original goal of the project was to see a 10% reduction and the city is on track to outperform that goal.

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