INDIANAPOLIS - An Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department homicide detective is more determined than ever to open a new center for at-risk kids and adults after a fellow officer was killed just blocks away.
Detective Harry Dunn is working to open the HIM by HER Foundation Skills Development Center on the city’s east side.
"When you come to a scene where one of your own has been struck, it definitely hits you, it brings it home. And when it comes into the same area, same street that you're trying to open a skills development center on, it's a touching moment," Dunn said.
Dunn said he is more motivated than ever to open the doors to the center and transform the former school.
The building is just three blocks away from where fellow Officer Perry Renn was shot and killed Saturday night.
"Just a couple months ago we had an officer that was shot twice in the vest in this same zip code. Two years ago we had an officer that was killed in this same zip code. And then here we are again," Dunn said. "Even more now than ever, I'm driven. My passion has risen. I am looking to protect the next set of officers, the next generation of officers by trying to train this generation currently, trying to help employ this current generation."
The HIM by HER foundation -- which stands for Helping Improve Mankind by Healing Every Race -- will provide job training and certification for adults. There will be an "Enterprise City" inside the old gym where kids can learn real-life skills and stay out of trouble and off the streets after school.
"This community, we believe very much so that people want to fight back. They want jobs, they want opportunity, they want hope," Dunn said.
Dunn, a third-generation homicide detective, believes we can break the cycle of violence for the next generation.
"My father was a police officer. He was shot in the neck the same year I was born. I was raised by a quadriplegic. He was the head of my household. My mom was a nurse. I was raised right here in 46218, not too far from this scene. I know what it feels like to be a victim of gun violence and I'm looking to fight back," Dunn said.
The first official event at the center will be Friday night. It will be a community empowerment meeting from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Dunn needs $2 million in donations to open the doors to the building. He is hoping for corporate donations, private donations and volunteers to help make that happen by the end of the year.