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A local anti-violence group organizes a barbecue in an effort to build relationships and reduce violence

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Indianapolis, Indiana – Approaching summer, the city is stepping up its efforts to reduce violence.
In an attempt to reduce crime, the Indianapolis Peacemakers were out and about the city on Friday night, trying to establish connections and raise awareness.

Friday night, the Hawthorne Place apartments on the east side of the city played host to a community barbecue organized by the Peacemakers of the Indianapolis Office of Public Health and Safety.

“We’re trying to establish a connection with our communities and what makes Indy peace so unique is individuals that look like the residents in the communities are also out here providing resources, establishing connections and also just making simple connections to the families,” said Josiah Johnson with OPHS.

Over 60 peacemakers have several grassroots events scheduled for this summer. This is one of them.

“We go out into the communities that are hardest hit with gun violence, or high risk of gun violence and we try to connect the community with resources to help decrease the likelihood of them engaging in criminal activity,” said Indy Peacemaker Lorie Bohannon.

The city’s peacemakers were established in 2022 as a component of Mayor Joe Hogsett’s strategy to reduce violence.

The group’s main goals are to solve problems through solutions and to provide resources for difficulties that arise in the real world and fuel crime.

“Recently, out here in this community where we are at Hawthorne Apartments, we’ve had a lot of domestic violence, we’ve had a lot of gun-related crimes. Just overall the residents’ complaints regarding their living conditions and things of that nature,” said Bohannon.

On Friday night, the peacemakers also attended the block party at the MLK Center. Every attempt is made to become acquainted with the community so that, in times of need, people would have a familiar face to turn to.

“We’re just chilling out in the community with the residents so they can know who we are and they can learn what we do,” said Bohannon. “It establishes trust, transparency and also it relaxes barriers that were previously there.”

 

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