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Months after the shooting at Bertha Ross Park, community organizations call for enhanced safety



Indianapolis, Indiana – A fun event for the whole family was held on Sunday at Bertha Ross Park by a number of neighborhood organizations. The occasion occurs there four months following a shooting.

”We wanted to promote love as a healing strategy for the youth,” Marion County Youth Violence Prevention Coalition intern Kamea McClam said.

More than a dozen volunteers from four different organizations worked together to make the event, which was appropriately called “I Want to Play Outside,” feasible.

”It’s pretty good,” said Donovan Harley, who attended the event on behalf of the Marion County Youth Violence Prevention Coalition. “We had a lot of people show up, more than I expected.”

”We want to just get back to where kids can go to the park,” said Lenerd McKinney, President of He Cares Inc. “… They’ve got a lot of activities in parks waiting for the kids to come to them, but the kids are afraid to come to them because of what’s happening in the streets.”

Fady Qaddoura, a state senator, was present on Sunday. The senator, who lost his brother-in-law to gun violence, predicted that there will be a significant effort to reduce juvenile violence during the upcoming legislative session. He noted that the law he’s presently developing will be made public around the year’s conclusion.

”The idea is to create flexibility for all localities across the state, collaboration between community organizers, law enforcement and the state of Indiana to allow local communities to find these local solutions,” State Sen. Qaddoura said.

In the interim, He Cares Inc. and the Marion County Youth Violence Prevention Coalition will likely collaborate on a number of additional projects, according to McKinney.

”We have the same vision for the community,” McKinney said. “We have the same vision for the city, so these kind of things will be happening a lot more in the future.”

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