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IMPD partners with faith-based groups to crack down on crime

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — In an attempt to crack down on crime, IMPD is working with faith-based organizations in a new nationwide initiative called One Congregation One Precinct (One COP), where faith-based groups serve as a liaison between the public and police.

It’s a familiar scene — in fact, Indianapolis has seen it 101 times already this year.

The 102nd criminal homicide in the city happened early Monday morning at the Carlton Apartments near 82nd Street and Township Line Road. The victim in that shooting was 30-year-old Antoine Walton.

“Very kind, and he just went to church yesterday and gave his life to Christ,” said family friend Renee Hill. 

Hill said there was some kind of argument over social media prior to Walton’s killing. According to the Marion County Coroner’s Office, he died of a gunshot wound to the head. 

“We have to do something to take our streets back, to take our young folks back,” said Hill. 

Taking the streets back and cutting down on crime is the goal of One COP. Police team up with faith-based organizations to fight crime together. 

“Officers can’t do it alone. It requires the officers and the community to work together to combat and solve crime,” said Lt. Nathan Barlow with IMPD. 

The groups, which often serve troubled neighborhoods, participated in training exercises on Monday. They’ll meet again with police on Tuesday. 

“Today’s goal was to turn around and give faith-based leaders a chance to experience a little about what a police officer goes through on traffic stops and other types of sudden encounters. They were exposed to some of the dynamics of law enforcement, giving them a better understanding of what we do,” Barlow said.

IMPD hopes to work with these organizations to build trust and help develop crime-fighting strategies to put an end to tragic crime scenes like the one that took Walton’s life.

“The world needs to know they need to stop taking matters into their own hands,” said Hill.

Investigators are asking for your help in Walton’s murder. Call Crime Stoppers at 317-262-TIPS with any information. 

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