Across Chicago, An Effort To Make Residents Feel Safer
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(CBS) – Across Chicago, some are welcoming the weekend as a two-day break from the daily grind, while others are hoping for a break from the recent cycle of violence.
CBS2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine reports on how still others are fighting back.
At 70th and Cottage Grove in Chatham Friday, dozens of yellow-shirted volunteers were part of a mission to take back city street corners one by one. Their goal: 5,000 men on 500 corners.
Or, as Pastor Corey Brooks explains: “Covering the hotspots to reduce violence and to make sure no one gets shot.”
A few miles to the west, hundreds gathered for a block party with free food, fun and games. Among those playing in several simultaneous basketball games were members of four different street gangs, showing neither gang signs nor gang colors — protecting baskets not gang turf.
It cost Father Michael Pfleger about $1,000 to throw a party he hopes will pay big dividends.
“This is what it should look like every night in every neighborhood — where people are not afraid to come out,” he says.
Chicago police were out in force as well, mostly to protect Gov. Pat Quinn, who came to show his support.
“There’s no more important mission in life than being a peacemaker,” he said.
Their efforts are being supplemented by dozens more federal prosecutors, officers and investigator. Seven new ATF agents dedicated to stopping the flow of firearms start Monday.
In the end, it won’t be any one of these alone that reduces the violence in Chicago’s neighborhoods.
“It takes a collaboration of everybody working together,” Brooks says.