Illinois is readying a special team to tackle potential violence and prevent crises in Chicago during Memorial Day weekend.
(Bloomberg) — Illinois is readying a special team to tackle potential violence and prevent crises in Chicago during Memorial Day weekend.
The Citywide Crisis Prevention & Response unit will coordinate with community-based organizations to deploy more than 30 trained neighborhood “peacekeepers,” Governor JB Pritzker said in a statement Thursday.
The Memorial Day weekend is one of the most violent holidays of the year for Chicago. The citywide response will be a test for Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson, who took office this month, pledging to tackle public safety by being smart, not just tough.
“The most important work we do is keeping our communities safe,” Pritzker said. “This is another important step towards addressing violence and conflict through research-based, community-focused approaches.”
At a separate press conference, Johnson said the city will boost police presence during the long weekend. He also announced that the Partnership for Safe and Peaceful Communities, a coalition of private and public organizations, pledged $2.5 million to fund 253 grassroots groups working across 24 communities in the South and West sides, the areas of Chicago that have struggled economically.
Crime incidents in Chicago jumped 41% last year from 2021, and another 42% so far in 2023. A mass shooting in Highland Park, Illinois, on the Fourth of July last year left seven people dead and more than 40 injured.
“My administration’s top priority is building a city where every single resident feels safe, and in order to do that, we need everyone at the table,” Johnson said.
More stories like this are available on bloomberg.com
©2023 Bloomberg L.P.