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IMPD chief at prayer vigil: Don’t get too used to sound of gunfire

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — At a prayer vigil Sunday, city leaders asked the community to step up and help fight crime throughout Indianapolis.

“I don’t want our young folks, I don’t want any of our folks, but especially our young folks, to get too used to the sound of gunfire,” said Chief Randal Taylor of Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department from the pulpit of First Trinity Lutheran Church.

Only a few people attended the Prayer for Peace vigil.

After the service, Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett said crime-fighting dollars put into the city won’t make much difference unless people living here take the initiative to use it.

“Rather than take a top-down approach where police or the mayor are telling the community what’s in their best interest, I think it’s much more effective as I just said, to listen.”

According to IMPD, through March 1 of 2022, the total number of homicides stood at 33 compared to 43 at this time last year.

“Today, as of March 13, we are at four intentional homicides for the month of March. So, you’re almost halfway through the month,” Hogsett said. Hogsett says the total number of homicides for March of 2021 was 18.

Earlier this year, Indianapolis received $45 million of federal American Rescue Act money, designed as relief from the coronavirus pandemic, that can be used for crime-fighting efforts.

The mayor says the city is asking community programs that have had success in working with troubled youth in the past about how they can use that money.

Trinity Lutheran, which has served the north side of Indianapolis for a century and a half, already has some community-based programs for youths and families.

“We are trying to work with the parks department this summer to block parties to keep our communities safe,” said Marvin Reynolds, a Trinity Lutheran parishioner.

Hogsett says he is working with the U.S. Conference of Mayors to learn how other cities the size of Indianapolis are addressing gun violence, and hopes to adopt some of the more successful methods those cities are using to fight crime.

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