City-County council approves $400,000 for crime-fighting groups

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – The Indianapolis City-County Council has approved an additional $400,000 to fund crime-fighting programs. The money will be available to non-profit groups like the Indy Ten Point Coalition by summer 2017.

Councilor Jared Evans says that non-profit groups that qualify must apply by April. The Central Indiana Community Foundation will go over applications, and the board will meet in May to decide where the funds should be distributed. The money will be dispersed by July 1 with the maximum single grant being $100,000.

An amendment passed to the proposal increased grant eligibility requirements. The amendment states funds must be awarded to not-for-profits and community organizations that provide conflict resolution in high-crime beat areas as designated by the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.

The proposal passed 22-1 with one council member recusing herself. Councilor Colleen Fanning mentioned that the money was originally going to be used for council pay raises, but she likes where it’s now going.

“I think this money is very well spent in this capacity, trying to be innovative in terms of crime prevention and rewarding those people who are indeed fighting on the front lines,” Fanning said.

Council Vice President Zach Adamson cast the only nay vote. He said he would have had no problem voting for it if the money increased the crime prevention fund. But since the proposal narrows the criteria for non-profits to be approved, he’s worried the money could be too exclusive.

“It seems to me that the narrowing of the criteria seems to fit exactly the mission statement of a particular organization rather than a particular type of activity,” Adamson said.

Indy Ten Point leader Rev. Charles Harrison praised the council’s decision on his Twitter account. He tweeted that the money will be crucial in helping the organization and other groups put boots on the ground in high crime areas. In an interview with 24-Hour News 8, Harrison told us why it is a good idea that groups can be awarded no more than $100,000.

“That’s good we need to see that we have groups in all of the hot spots areas that can provide assistance to police,” said Harrison. Currently the Ten Point Coalition patrols three neighborhoods Butler Tarkington, Crown Hill and 30th and MLK. In those areas the group has seen a decrease in homicides, more people are talking, and forming neighborhood groups. Harrison adds Ten Point will apply for the grant, and could possibly expand to another neighborhood if awarded funds.

Councilor Jeff Coats created the $400,000 proposal, part of the reason is he wanted to see front line groups get help.

“I want this $400,000 to go toward street intervention to interrupt small problems before they become big problems,” said Coats.

Any unclaimed money will be put in the crime prevention fund.

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