FORT WAYNE - After months of planning, the city of Fort Wayne is launching its chapter of a community-focused crime prevention program. The city says the TenPoint Coalition will be the "next step in positively influencing the lives of black males, families and neighborhoods by implementing proactive strategies to improve life outcomes, increase the quality of life and enhance community pride."

Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry made the announcement Thursday alongside Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill, Reverend Charles Harrison of the Indianapolis TenPoint Coalition, representatives from Fort Wayne UNITED, as well as TenPoint Coalition financial partners. Fort Wayne's program is modeled after the Indianapolis TenPoint Coalition.

The city says the Oxford Community Association will be the first recipient of its TenPoint Coalition initiative. Local foot patrols will begin building relationships with residents in the neighborhood with a focus on addressing youth gun violence and improving the quality of life for residents in education, health and housing.

"The TenPoint Coalition in Fort Wayne is a critical initiative that I’m so encouraged about as we come together to address challenges and work collectively to provide hope and new opportunities," Henry said in a news release. "I appreciate and value the leadership and commitment from Attorney General Hill, Reverend Harrison and the Fort Wayne UNITED team as we share a common goal to help residents and neighborhoods grow and thrive in a safe environment."

The Fort Wayne TenPoint Coalition will also hold a pair of kickoff events to celebrate the launch:

  • October 28: Prayer in the Park, 5:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. at the Weisser Park Youth Center
  • October 29: Walk the Talk, 5:30 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. at the Weisser Park Youth Center
  • November 2: Walk the Talk, 5:30 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. at the Weisser Park Youth Center

"Rather than operating from a safe distance, the men and women of the TenPoint Coalition venture right into the hearts of troubled neighborhoods," said Hill. "They build connections and relationships with the very same at-risk youth who are most apt to make dangerous and destructive choices. This is a big reason they are so effective in reducing urban youth gun violence and helping young people find new and better paths. Given the good work already demonstrated here in Fort Wayne by Iric Headley and Fort Wayne UNITED, I believe we’re seeing the beginnings of a beautiful new partnership."