CPD Expands Gang Violence Prevention Program

The Chicago Police Department announced a new twist in a program designed to reduce crime by knocking on the doors of individuals deemed likely to commit crimes, particular people with known gang affiliations.

The Custom Notification Prevention Program now offers gang members social services as an outlet away from a life of crime, and police officers are using it to intervene in active gang conflicts as a way to prevent escalation.

Police superintendent Garry McCarthy says the program is not focused on enforcement, but rather helping to "change people's lives while shutting down violent conflicts."

The home visits are made by a police district commanders and a community partner, according to a CPD news release, and are focused on "influential individuals involved in active gang conflicts." The individuals are also reminded of the enhanced penalties they could face if they get in trouble again, based on their criminal history.

No arrests are made unless the criminal conduct is observed.

The expanded program is already in use in the Wentworth, Grand Crossing, Gresham and Ogden police districts.

Police say the results thus far are preliminary, but encouraging, with none of the contacted individuals being arrested for a violent felony.

The program began last summer in the city's Austin neighborhood.

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