(Indianapolis, IN, January 12, 2009)—A diverse group of city and religious leaders, including U.S. Attorney Tim Morrison, Deputy Mayor Olgen Williams and new Public Safety Director Frank Straub, will come came together on Thursday night, January 14, 2010 at Oasis of Hope Baptist Church, 1701 East 25th Street to remember the 106 citizens of Marion County who died by violence in 2009 . The annual event is hosted by Indiana Project Safe Neighborhoods, an anti-gun and gang crime initiative of the federal government and the Church Federation of Greater Indianapolis. The event begins at 6pm and the public is invited to attend.
“People in our community have become numb to homicides,” said Reverend Mel Jackson, local minister and steering committee member of Indiana Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN). “We want them to see the generations of families who are devastated by these acts of crime, and we want them to become angry enough to help fight violent crime in their own neighborhoods and other neighborhoods around Marion County.”
As a symbolic spotlight lights the sky outside the church, inside the names of each victim will be read and candles representing courage, hope, faith and love will be lit followed by the lighting of the unity candle. Relatives will stand in silence as their loved one is announced. The Oasis of Hope Church Choir will provide music for the ceremony.
Indiana Project Safe Neighborhoods (IPSN) is a part of a national anti-gun and gang crime initiative led by the office of the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana located in Indianapolis. A local steering committee made up of community, government and law enforcement leaders has issued grants to local law enforcement agencies and community groups that have creative and effective ideas to lower gun and gang violence in and around Marion County. In addition, IPSN has Neighborhood Coordinators who reach out to residents in violent areas of the community and assist them with ideas to fight gun crime.