Crime-fighting coalition readies for expansion

INDIANAPOLIS (WANE) An Indianapolis crime fighting model is about to be expanded after a whirlwind week nearly 20 years in the making.

On Friday, Reverend Charles Harrison could barely hold back his excitement. “This has been a week,” Harrison said. “I was telling my wife, ‘We’ve been doing this for 20 years, we have never had a week like this!’

This week, Reverend Harrison’s group Ten Point Coalition learned it would receive $500,000 from the state. And on Friday, it didn’t stop there.

Vice President Mike Pence speaks at a luncheon held by an anti-violence group, the Indianapolis Ten Point Coalition, Friday, Aug. 11, 2017.

Vice President Mike Pence was the keynote speaker at the group’s annual luncheon. “I’m just here today, as a fellow Hoosier, to pay a debt of gratitude to all of you,” Vice President Pence said.

An organization he knows well. Thirteen months ago, Pence dawned the group’s signature bright, neon, yellow vests.

“As we walked those streets, we heard stories,” Vice President Pence said. “We heard stories from families and sorrows and resolve. We heard the stories of redemption and second chances. We saw firsthand the power of love, and faith.”

The Ten Point Coalition tackles crime by walking streets, hosting jobs fairs, and connecting with young people. It started in Indy in 1999, but is now in other Indiana cities, and heading to more.

“We’re going to Evansville,” Harrison said. “We’re going to East Chicago. We’re going back to Fort Wayne.”

Here’s how the luncheon helped. People paid as much as $25,000 per table. During the event, they contributed more by leaving a donation in an envelope.

Between state grants, and the luncheon, the group is ready to hit the ground running. A crazy few days Harrison knows will be hard to top.

“I don’t know if we can,” Harrison said. “I don’t know if we can, but we’re certainly going to try.”

The expansion isn’t just tied to Indiana. The Ten Point Coalition is expanding around the region.

Reverend Harrison is talking to officials in Nashville and Cleveland. He expanded the program into Louisville last year.