Faith Walks/ Faith Patrol
Faith Walks are designed so that the Faith Patrol Teams(FPT) can directly engage those likely to be involved in homicides or a violent lifestyle. The FPT build relationships and engage these individuals with the message that they can turn their lives around and they don't have to be a statistic. Moreover, the FPT also help deter violence through referrals to help get these individual jobs, or help them finish their education. The Faith Walks take place Wednesday through Saturday. Currently the FPT are focusing on Zip Codes 46205 and 46208.
Faith Patrols are similar to Faith walks however, they occur downtown during Black Expo Summer Celebration and Circle City Classic weekends. During these times, FPT walk downtown in selected areas to encourage youth the be safe, respectful, and have a good time. The FPT often work along side IMPD in some cases to act as a buffer between the community and the police. FPT have been helpful in crowd control and discouraging "rowdy" behavior. Many of the individuals engaged by the FPT comply with their wishes thus IMPD officers don't have to get involved and make any arrests. This is the model of police and FPT is sometimes referred to as community policing. It has been a succesful model in helping create a safe enviornment downtown during big events.
Perhaps one of the biggest secrets regarding the Indianapolis TenPoint Coalition is that we are a re-entry program in our own right. Indianapolis Ten Point Coalition often hires returning citizens(Ex-offenders) to work with the organization. These returning citizens have turned their lives around and often communicate that they want to "give back" or "fix up what they messed up". The fact that many of our workers and volunteers are returning citizens also serves as an ongoing object lesson that it is possible to turn one's life around.
ITPC is also a re-entry program in that we make many referrals to those we meet in the street about employment. ITPC is at work trying to identify and find employers who will hire returning citizens. FPT often refer those out of work to these employers or agencies who help match returning citizens with potential employers.
Finally ITPC is re-entry as it promotes and hosts job fairs. Recently, ITPC hosted a job fair @ Barnes United Methodist Church. Over 2,000 people came out to the fair, many of them returning citizens. In the not to distant future ITPC will host another job fair with more employers willing to hire returning citizens
Undoubtedly one of the services ITPC is known for is Homicide support. Frequently, IMPD calls ITPC to come to a crime scenes. At the crime scene ITPC Street Outreach Workers and volunteers have three basic functions. First, the job of S.O.W. is to CONTROL the situation so that the police can do their job. This invovles keeping the integrity of the crime scene in tack and disemination information to the public and explain what is taking place. Second, ITPC functions to COMFORT and calm tempers and emotions, which often run high at this time. ITPC does this through prayer counseling and good pastoral care. The third function of ITPC at crime scenes is to provide CONSCIENCE. It is at these scenes that we as begin discussion about retaliation and breaking the cycle of violence. Although this is a raw and very sensitive time, the S.O.W. use their knowledge, and savvy skills to build relationships encourage the families and love ones to work with law enforcement to bring the perpertrators to justice.
The S.O.W. also are helpful at crime scenes explaining to family the process that IMPD follows during a homicide in order to preserve the integrity of the crime scene. This information is helpful in letting family and friends know that IMPD is not trying to be disrespectful to their loved one,
ITPC also gives homicide support during funerals. S.O.W. frequently address funerals in which the homicide was gang related or was likely to involve retaliation. Once again, the S.O.W. message to all involved is to let the police do their job and don't retaliate. The process of encouraging no retaliation also could involve home visits and conversations with several groups of people (i.e. family, brothers, Mom, Friends, Gang etc.). S.O.W. have had a 90% success rate of preventing or discouraging Homicides once they have been actively involved.