(CBS) — 2016 has been one the most violent years in recent memory, but one South Side community thinks they have a solution.
CBS 2’s Suzanne Le Mignot reports that Woodlawn neighborhood gangs have brokered a truce.
Lavondale Glass is the member of a gang. His son and brother were shot, within the span of two weeks.
“It’s starting to be too sickening,” Glass says.
He was joined by other gang members who asked CBS 2 not to show their faces.
Glass says at least six different factions are taking part in the truce. The boundaries are from State to Stoney and 55th to 67th.
Arthur Stringer is a member of a rival gang.
“The only way to change what’s going on, we have to step up and change it. We have to be men,” he says.
Glass says the key to keeping peace is job creation.
“They want a chance. That’s all they want — a chance,” he says.
Pastor Corey Brooks brought the rival gangs together to create the truce.
“I always say that jobs stop bullets all the time, and if we’re going to get these guys to put down guns we have to give them some hammers to pick up, we got to give them some jackhammers to pick up, some nails to pick up. They need jobs,” he says.
Ald. Willie B. Cochran of the 20th Ward says he will be putting together a resources fair for the gang members.
Chicago Police First Deputy Supt. John Escalante says he appreciates the help of community leaders but added: “That’s not going to stop us from being out there. We’ll be visible. The community’s going to see us.”
Ron Safer, a former assistant U.S. attorney who helped take down the El Rukn gang, welcomed the development.
“I am a believer in talking with anyone who will talk. Gang truces rarely stick but that doesn’t mean they aren’t worth trying. What is the alternative? You cannot lock everyone up and guns are so prevalent that the violence is unstoppable. Gang leaders control the gang members. If the gang leaders tell the gang members to leave their guns at home, they will – for the most part.”