There is a new plan to fight crime in two of the most dangerous neighborhoods in the city and includes police joining forces with an anti-violence group. Christian Farr reports.
Despite so-called "rifts" between the Chicago Police Department and CeaseFire, the two organizations announced a collaborated initiative to expand CeaseFire into the 3rd and 10th districts.
In light of the recent crime increase that has flooded the city, the new initiative, set to begin July 13, awards a $1 million grant to expand CeaseFire into the Woodlawn and Lawndale neighborhoods, adding 20 workers to each district.
The organization, which employs ex-convicts to interrupt potential violence, has only been able to work in one-third of the Chicago area and hopes the expansion will improve the increasing crime rates.
Stipulations over the agreement have stirred over the last couple weeks and the “Chicago-centric” agreement calls for CeaseFire officials to undergo strict evaluations through the CPD CompStat system.
“We’re not looking back,” said Fire Deputy Al Wysinger. “If there were differences in the past… those things have to go out the window.”
Though worries sprouted about the reputation of CeaseFire employees as ex-offenders, the group insists that their preventative measures can help reverse the Chicago crime’s downward spiral.
“We have a better idea of how to interrupt [crime],” said Dr. Gary Slutkin with CeaseFire. “We know how to detect and interrupt it.”
The Chicago Police Department plans to monitor the number of interruptions CeaseFire achieves and hopes to use the CeaseFire model to become more proactive rather than reactive.