INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The U.S. Department of Justice has awarded the Indianapolis OneCOP Initiative a $1 million grant to help fight crime in the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department’s Southwest District.
The local organization is working with IMPD, the National Police Foundation, the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office, the U.S Attorney’s Office and the Indianapolis Fraternal Order of Police to develop and test the free app.
The OneCOP app will be designed to better report crimes in real time and to improve the relationship between the community and police.
“People need to know what’s going on in their surroundings,” said the Rev. Markel Hutchins, CEO and national lead organizer of OneCop. “They need to be situationally aware because doing so affords them the opportunity to be engaged on an ongoing basis and crime reduction efforts in their local communities.”
The GPS-activated app will allow anyone in the community to see police reports and public safety resources. It will also give police direct communication to people in the communities they are policing. Law enforcement hopes church and civic leaders will use it to reduce violent crimes involving problems only they can solve.
“The houses of worship will be able to see the crime and violence in real time that’s going on around them so that they can outreach appropriately and really address the issues that are specific to the communities,” Hutchins said.
Josh Minkler, U.S. attorney for the Indianapolis district, said, “Juveniles with guns, not to be pejorative but these are boys. There are 13, 14, 15-year-olds with guns. Our challenges in these neighborhoods with our girls is now involvement in the commercial sex trade, 13, 14 and 15-year-old girls.”
There’s no date of when OneCOP will be available for use.
“We need our business community, our faith-based organizations and our residents to jump into this to be all-in to help tackle these issues,” said Rick Snyder, president of the Indianapolis Fraternal Order of Police.