CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago’s top cop says a new police tactic for toning down violence – derided by some critics as “hug-a-thug” – has been getting positive results.

Tuesday morning, Police Supt. Garry McCarthy will discuss the latest tactic in the fight against gangs.

For the past several months, some district commanders have been knocking on the doors of known street gang leaders, trying to set them straight in person.

The pilot program started in the Austin District on the West Side, and also has been tried in several other police districts.

Commanders take their “cut out the violence” message right to the front door of gang leaders in their districts – within hours of a shooting, murder, or other violent gang-related crime.

The commanders warn gang leaders in person that they could face long prison terms if violent crime continues. Police also offer information on job training and social services.

It’s controversial, because some disparagingly call it “hug-a-thug,” but McCarthy’s office said the tactic works. In districts where these so-called “custom notifications” have been made, shootings have dropped.

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