Efrat Stein, 312.747.9805, firstname.lastname@example.org
For Immediate Release
The City of Chicago today announced that it has signed a memorandum of understanding with the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health and the Chicago Project for Violence Prevention (CeaseFire) to implement a new pilot initiative to stem gang violence in two Chicago Police Department Districts hard hit by the splintering of traditional gangs in recent years.
Beginning July 13, CeaseFire will work with CPD in specific beats in the Grand Crossing (3rd) and Ogden (10th) Districts with the goal of addressing gang members from within to mitigate violence before it begins.
“The Chicago Police Department is committed to driving out gang violence and revealing the thriving communities that exist across this city,” said First Deputy Superintendent Alfonza Wysinger. "Working with CeaseFire will complement and enhance our gang violence reduction strategy, making Chicago a safer place for everyone.”
As part of CPD’s comprehensive gang violence reduction strategy, the Department is working with community, faith based leaders and businesses to ensure that when a narcotics market is removed from a neighborhood, that community works together to hold onto the block moving forward. The pilot program with CeaseFire will enhance the Department’s ability to holistically approach gang violence to increase the safety of communities throughout the city.
“Mayor Emanuel and the Chicago Police Department are very serious about reducing violence in Chicago and we look forward to working with the City of Chicago to help save lives,” said Tio Hardiman, director of CeaseFire Illinois. “CeaseFire is a proven Public Health Model and we know that, in partnership with the City, we can be part of the solution to address violence in the city.”
The partnership represents a unique model developed specifically for the City of Chicago to ensure accountability and oversight to measure the success of the pilot program. To that end, performance metrics will be employed to ensure resources are properly deployed to conflict areas and that conflict resolution goals are being met through joint CPD-CeaseFire CompStat meetings. In addition, CeaseFire will meet with CPD regularly to review the progress of the program.
Violence prevention is one of the City’s 12 public health priorities outlined in Healthy Chicago, the City’s public health agenda. As such, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) has been signed on behalf of the City by the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) with University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health and the Chicago Project for Violence Prevention (CeaseFire). The MOU will be in effect for 12 months, and may be extended annually up for a total of three years.
“The Chicago Department of Public Health is committed to being part of the solution by educating our youth in communities throughout the city about the repercussions of gang violence,” said Dr. Bechara Choucair, Commissioner of CDPH. Our goal is to increase the quality of life by reducing and preventing exposure to violence in the home and community, and this new partnership between CPD, CDPH and CeaseFire gives us an opportunity to build upon our violence prevention foundation to make Chicago a safer city for all of our residents.”