INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Rachel Cooper is president of the Southeast Community Organization. For years Cooper has aided police in alerting officers to illegal activities in her neighborhood.
She gave police critical details after two rival gangs the “Fountain Square Boyz” and the “Problem Child Gang” were accused of terrorizing her neighborhood.
“I gave all the names up,” said Cooper.
Police later arrested the alleged gang members, they were charged with gang enhancement charges. Cooper has also tried to coach Andrew Sizemore out of a life of crime even in the weeks leading up to his death. SWAT members shot and killed Sizemore on March 5th. This happened after police say Sizemore shot at officers first as he tried to protect a stash inside his drug house.
Cooper talked to Sizemore just weeks before his death, and she said he showed no signs of leaving a criminal lifestyle behind.
“I know it’s wrong but that’s me,” said Cooper.
In addition to fighting crime on the front lines, Cooper is involved in several preventive measures. Including running a baseball league for children, she provides food in the fall from her pantry, and she has a team that shovels snow for seniors in the winter.
Cooper is 65, and she adds she is not afraid to deal with issues plaguing her community.
“If I have to go I’m going to protect my community,” said Cooper.
According to Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, those are just some of the reason why Cooper will be recognized as Crime Fighter of the Year. Cooper will receive the honor Tuesday, August 5th 2014 during National Night Out (NNO).
NNO was created to promote police and community partnerships. The effort has disrupt crime, drug, and violence in neighborhoods.