AT&T is launching the Believe IndySM initiative to improve communities and help reduce violent crime in Indianapolis.
The effort will focus on three core areas: education and job skills in at-risk Indianapolis neighborhoods; technology advancements for local police and public safety officials; and community engagement through employee volunteerism.
“Our leadership and our employees want to be more engaged in our city and make a prolonged impact,” said AT&T Indiana President Bill Soards. “We have a fantastic team of caring people, and we’re committed to supporting both public safety and community-focused organizations as we work to uplift people and decrease violent crime in our city.”
Believe Indy kicked off today with a commitment of $184,000 from AT&T and $91,000 from the AT&T Foundation, for a total of $275,0001 dedicated to its new initiative.
MovementForward, Inc.’s One Congregation One Precinct (OneCOP), a nonprofit program that utilizes a proactive model to address tensions around police-involved incidents as well as ongoing crime and violence in local communities, is the first Believe Indy collaborator. With this funding from AT&T and the AT&T Foundation, OneCOP was able to open its office and hire its first-ever executive director for Indianapolis.
“Thanks to AT&T, Indianapolis is the first stop in the national implementation of this unprecedented effort to connect beat-level law enforcement professionals directly with the citizens they are sworn to serve and protect,” said Chairman and CEO of Atlanta-based MovementForward, Inc. the Rev. Markel Hutchins.
“OneCOP provides a unique opportunity for our beloved city, which has seen increasing crime and violence over the last several years, to engage law enforcement with local houses of worship to prepare congregations to serve as liaisons between the community and the police,” said Indy OneCOP’s newly hired executive director Ryan Yarrell.
“AT&T’s investment in public safety and technology, education and job skills and employee engagement demonstrate that the public and private sectors can effectively collaborate to address the systemic causes of violent crime and disorder,” said Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Deputy (IMPD) Chief Josh Barker. “The men and women of the IMPD work every day to strengthen relationships with neighborhood/community residents, and the OneCOP and Believe Indy initiatives provide IMPD with yet another opportunity of deepening those relationships.”
Next up for Believe Indy is an AT&T employee-led event called “Operation Hydration” on May 23 outside the AT&T building at 240 N. Meridian St. Held annually ahead of Memorial Day weekend, Operation Hydration raises money and collects bottled water donations for the USO of Indiana. Following this event will be AT&T’s participation in the Indy Chamber’s “Indy Civic Hack” on June 14. This hackathon will be focused on creating new digital tools to increase educational opportunities and access to social and community resources.
Details regarding AT&T’s collaboration and volunteer work with additional Indianapolis organizations will be released throughout the year.
The Believe Indy effort is an extension of AT&T BelievesSM, a larger company-wide initiative, which aims to create positive change in local communities. To learn more about AT&T Believes initiatives across the country, please click here.
1 $91,000 of the $275,000 is from AT&T Foundation Grants