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Youth Program Lowers Crime 50%

A new youth program hosted by The Salvation Army has helped to lower Juvenile Crime by 50% in the Eagle Creek area.  This past August, The Salvation Army Eagle Creek, IMPD, and Marion University hosted a block party to kick off a new partnership called KNOT: Kids and Neighborhood Outreach and Teaching. Project KNOT is a collaboration to address the needs of area youth to have a safe, structured environment to spend after school hours.  Recently, a Crime Analyst with IMPD looked at the data for police runs made between August 2011 and January 2012 during the times that the KNOT program is in session, and for a half mile radius around The Salvation Army Eagle Creek Community Center, juvenile crime decreased by 50%. Officer Nicolle Freeman stated,”The numbers speak for themselves. This program is making an impact on the neighborhood! I have noticed that the radio is quieter, but now we have the data to prove it!”

Kids who participate in Project KNOT will receive help with homework and be able to participate in group activities, use a computer lab or just hang out in a secure enviroment. Snacks are also provided thanks to area businesses.

Captain Amos Shiels, Corps Officer at Eagle Creek said, “We had 50 individuals at the kick-off and were able to get information to them about our programs and services. It was also a great opportunity to show the neighborhood and the people that we are willing to work with others. One of the neat things about the event was the possible new partnerships within the community. Through the publicizing of the event, a gentleman came forward who wants to manage a Biddy Basketball league for us. This relationship with the IMPD is not only to help with our children’s programming, but also possible future programs for seniors as well. The kids seemed to have a great time, and it was a good way for me to get to know some of the kids/teens from the area. I am excitedabout what the future holds for Eagle Creek, and I am grateful to be a part of the ministry here.”

On the day following the kick-off for Project KNOT, there were 17 new kids who showed up at the center for the after-school program. While this is a huge step in the right direction, it also means that they are going to need a lot of volunteer support.

Our youth today face a myriad of obstacles to their growth and becoming successful, productive citizens. Even in the best of families, children can expect challenges when it comes to balancing home life, extra-curricular activities, school work, friends and more. For some youth, having a safe, positive environment to go to can be the catalyst they need to reach their full potential – which they can find at The Salvation Army Eagle Creek Corps through Project KNOT.
Recently, a Crime Analyst with IMPD looked at the data for police runs made between August 2011 and January 2012 during the times that the KNOT program is in session, and for a half mile radius around the Eagle Creek Corps, juvenile crime decreased by 50%. Officer Nicolle Freeman stated,”The numbers speak for themselves. You are making an impact on the neighborhood! I have noticed that the radio is quieter, but now we have the data to prove it!”
To find out more about Project KNOT or to get your child involved contact IMPD Officer Nicolle Freeman at 327-6772, Nicolle.Freeman@indy.gov or IMPD Officer Madeline Lothamer at 327-6645, Madeline.Lothamer@indy.gov.
If you’d like to volunteer with the kids in the KNOT program, please call Andy Amick, 317-299-4454.

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