INDIANAPOLIS -- A national program that pairs police with houses of worship is expanding to Indianapolis.
The goal of the "One Cop Program" is to improve trust for public safety and address crimes in the neighborhoods those houses of worship serve.
The Georgia One Cop Program has chosen Indianapolis as the first city to implement their program outside of the Atlanta area. The program is focused on improving relationships between police and the public on every level with the help of faith leaders from churches, mosques, temples and synagogues.
"Those houses of worship have influence and resources that ought to be combined with law enforcement resources to improve community relationships and crime of every kind," said Reverend Markel Hutchins, founder of the One Cop Program.
The expansion comes to Indianapolis following the fatal police shooting of Aaron Bailey last summer, and the subsequent hearings that cleared the two officers involved and allowed them to keep their jobs on the police force. That shooting was just one of several incidents that have frayed relations with police in the city over the past year, something the Fraternal Order of Police hopes to address with their Think Bigger initiative and by embracing the Georgia program.
"It gets us above our common dialogue and highlights what we do well," said Rick Snyder, FOP 86 President. "At some point, you and I have to take responsibility for ourselves and our community."
The goal is to launch the One Cop Program on August 28, which is also the 55th Anniversary of the March on Washington where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his "I have a dream" speech.