Cumberland church holds vigil to combat crime as violence inches closer

CUMBERLAND, Ind. (WISH) – A community is taking action to fight crime as it inches closer to their borders.

Cumberland Christian Church held a prayer vigil Thursday night in a partnership with law enforcement, other churches and neighbors from across central Indiana.

There was mention of recent shootings, good and evil and the power of prayer. Minister Tom Scott also serves as a chaplain for the Cumberland Police Department. He’s sick of hearing about crime in central Indiana.

“And I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of it,” said Scott.

He organized tonight’s vigil because he believes it’s his, and the rest of the community’s responsibility to educate themselves of the crime creeping closer to their doorstep.

“And that’s what we’re doing tonight, is praying that God will not move the criminals out, but get into the hearts of criminals and get them to realize there’s a better way,” said Scott.

IMPD & Cumberland PD officers attended.

“It seems that, ya know, crime keeps coming out further and further,” said Cumberland Police Chief Michael Crooke.

Marion and Hamilton County neighbors sat side by side in pews.

“It makes it kind of difficult to trust the teens now when you’re going up and down the streets or the younger people,” said Indianapolis neighbor Patricia Keglar.

City leaders also came to join together in prayer and song in hopes for a better tomorrow.

“It affects everything we do whether we are doing sidewalk repair or road repair which people are very concerned about. None of that matters if we don’t get a grip on this crime problem,” said City Representative Mark Reynold.

There have been 48 homicides in Indianapolis this year. That’s up about 17% from this time last year. Many are still unsolved. Chief Crooke says, they’re working hard to fix that.

“When you get one of these, they take it personal. They have a bulldog approach to it. They’re going to keep working on it. It may not be news worthy every day and we may not see what they’re doing, but they’re always talking to somebody,” said Crooke.

Thursday night everyone in the church said it’s important to join forces and infiltrate communities to find out the needs of their neighbors.

“Because if we’re wanting people to love one another we have to teach them love in the home,” said Keglar.’’

Chief Crooke says they will be increasing patrols throughout the summer. He says other crucial things to help fight crime are programs like Project Safe Neighborhood and hopes for the funding.

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