JB Pritzker

Illinois to Send ‘Peacekeeper' Team, Other Assets to Chicago for Memorial Day Weekend

The Illinois Department of Human Services and Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced that the state will send a Citywide Crisis Prevention and Response Unit to Chicago for Memorial Day weekend in an effort to help keep residents safe.

According to a press release, more than 30 trained neighborhood “peacekeepers” will be part of that deployment, along with street outreach partners that will provide “assistance in de-escalation, conflict resolution and crisis support” in the city.

“The most important work we do is keeping our communities safe, and this is another important step toward addressing violence and conflict through research-based, community-focused approaches,” Pritzker said in a statement.

“The CPRU is an essential tool in keeping our communities safe, because these individuals bring invaluable insight and knowledge that allow us to reduce conflict before it escalates,” Mayor Brandon Johnson added.

According to the press release, the group of peacekeepers will work to preempt any violent actions, including in parks and at large events.

The program “addresses conflicts in high-risk blocks and provides engagement opportunities for those most at-risk,” according to the release.

CPRU peacekeepers are trained in crowd de-escalation and in crisis interruption, officials said.

The program will remain in place throughout the summer, with deployment timed with Memorial Day weekend.

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