CHICAGO (CBS) — Friday night residents in South Shore waited to see what kind of violence might unfold on Chicago’s streets after three deadly weekends in a row.
CBS 2’s Charlie De Mar caught up with some community activists taking matters into their own hands trying to bring peace after a violent holiday weekend that saw at least 80 people shot.
OMIB, the Original Men in Black community group, walked through the streets of Chicago’s South Side Friday night, announcing the start of a new kind of neighborhood patrol.
“We’re definitely not trying to be police officers. We aren’t security guards,” said Isiah James. “When we say patrol we’re literally going around the neighborhood to engage with our people.”
“Bullets do not belong in the bodies of babies,” said Pastor Victoria Brady with ABJ Community Services. “We have lost so many of our children, so many of our babies, and we are saying not so.”
This community led effort comes the same day as the Chicago Police Department unveiled its summer patrol units, an effort to address gun violence and build trust. Officers will do weekly community service in areas considered crime hot spots.
“Let officers get to know some of the folks here,” said CPD Supt. David Brown.
Sixty-six additional officers will be added to this unit. It comes the weekend after the city saw nearly 90 shooting victims, at least 12 under the age of 18, adding to a growing list of children shot this summer.
“If it’s just the police it won’t work,” said Brown.
“What we are trying to do is address that,” said James.
In the South Shore neighborhood the group is working to do its part to address gun violence ahead of another warm summer weekend.
“If anybody is going to make a change it will be us,” said Brady. “We need to lead our own cause.”
Chicago police also announced a citywide violent crime task force to address crime in the city.