CHICAGO (CBS) — An anti-crime pilot program involving the group CeaseFire and the Chicago Police Department appears to be moving ahead after a disagreement was resolved.
As WBBM Newsradio’s Bob Conway reports, the program was announced in earlier in the summer, and is being funded with $1 million grant from the Chicago Department of Public Health. The aim is to reduce violent crime, particularly shooting deaths in the Grand Crossing District on the South Side and the Ogden District on the West.
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bob Conway reports
To achieve that goal, CeaseFire members, most of them ex-felons, work to mediate disputes and head off violence. The funding has placed about 20 more CeaseFire workers in each of the two police districts.
The group’s executive director, Tio Hardiman, tells the Chicago Tribune the start of the effort was delayed until the group got assurances that its members would not be used as police informants.
Those assurances have now been given, and hardiman tells the newspaper about two dozen people are in the process of being hired and that the program should be running by the end of this month.
When the grant was first announced in late June, police Supt. Garry McCarthy expressed doubts about the program. He faulted CeaseFire for bypassing the police as it negotiates truces.
But McCarthy deferred to Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who backed the program.
“I work for the mayor, and, you know, he and I have an agreement … what he says goes,” McCarthy told CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine on June 28.