Chicago is preparing for Memorial Day mayhem by deploying ‘peacekeepers’ across the city – after 52 people were shot and nine killed during the holiday last year.
Historically, Memorial Day weekend has seen an increase in violent incidents in Chicago, making it one of the toughest times for public safety in the city.
Gov. JB Pritzker on Thursday announced the creation of the citywide Crisis Prevention and Response Unit, which will work with community organizations to deploy more than 30 trained neighborhood “peacekeepers.”
It was described as a highly mobile team purpose-built to prevent violence and resolve conflict and crisis in the city of Chicago by providing critical de-escalation, conflict resolution and crisis support assistance in the city. city of the winds.
This coordinated response effort will serve as a crucial test for newly inaugurated Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson, who took office this month with a commitment to ensuring public safety through “intelligent and holistic approaches” rather than relying solely on on hardness.
Illinois Governor JB Pritzker announced the creation of the citywide Crisis Prevention and Response Unit on Thursday.
This week, Chicago saw an increase in nearly every area of crime compared to the same time last year
Chicago prepares for Memorial Day mayhem by deploying ‘peacekeepers’ across the city
Governor Pritzker stressed the paramount importance of keeping the community safe.
“The most important job we do is to keep our communities safe,” said Pritzker. “This is another important step towards addressing violence and conflict through research-based and community-driven approaches.”
“Our main goal is to protect our neighborhoods. This initiative represents a significant step forward in addressing violence and resolving conflict by implementing research-based strategies and placing a strong emphasis on community engagement,” he said.
Inspired by the success of two pre-existing organizations in the city, Governor JB Pritzker has established a program that reflects their efforts.
The Partnership for Safe and Peaceful Communities, a coalition of private and public organizations, has pledged $2.5 million to fund 253 grassroots groups working in 24 communities on the South and West Sides, areas of Chicago that have experienced economic difficulties, Johnson said at a press conference. .
Criminal incidents in Chicago climbed 41% last year from 2021, and another 42% so far in 2023. A mass shooting in Highland Park, Illinois on July 4 in the last year left seven people dead and more than 40 injured.
“My administration’s top priority is to build a city where every resident feels safe, and to do that, we need everyone at the table,” Johnson said.
The new unit focused on mobility to enable “peacekeepers” to respond to various incidents and perform tasks in different areas.
This expanded training allows violence prevention coordinators to operate beyond their familiar neighborhoods to deal with other areas of potential conflict or crisis, such as the recent large gatherings of teenagers downtown. of Chicago or the mass casualty events, according to the press release.
This flexibility guarantees an agile and effective approach to conflict and crisis management. IDHS has been coordinating closely with vendors to ensure that the CPRU Memorial Day Weekend will be up and running and will extend throughout the summer, historically a time of heightened violence in Chicago.
52 people were shot and nine killed in Chicago over Memorial Day weekend in 2022
Chicago had its bloodiest Memorial Day weekend in five years last year
More than 150 people killed in total in the United States during the last Memorial Day weekend in 2022
Last year, Chicago had its most violent Memorial Day weekend in five years, with more than 50 people gunned down.
Of the 52 people shot, nine were killed, including three child victims. The violence in 2022 was despite a stay-at-home order meant to keep people indoors during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown said it was an “unacceptable level of violence”. “The violence across the city on Memorial Day weekend was nothing short of alarming,” he said last year.
This week, Chicago saw an increase in nearly every area of crime compared to the same time last year.
Homicide, robbery and aggravated assault increased by 9%, burglary by 18%, theft by 11% and motor vehicle theft by 158%.
Violence already seems to be in the air in Chicago. On Monday, a massive fight broke out during baggage claim at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport.
Governor JB Pritzker announced the creation of the Citywide Crisis Prevention and Response Unit’
This will serve as a test for new Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson, who is committed to tackling crime with smart, holistic approaches.
The dispute allegedly arose during disembarkation and then spilled over to the lower levels of Terminal 3. Chicago police say they arrested an 18-year-old man and a 20-year-old woman with battery following the incident .
More than 150 people were killed across America over Memorial Day weekend last year, with Chicago, Philadelphia and Maryland seeing the worst of the shootings.
This year, Philadelphia police are also preparing for a violent holiday weekend. Crime and ATVs are of particular concern to cops.
The department released a statement this week saying, “He is ready to respond to calls for service across the city.” individuals can expect to see an increased police presence where crowds are expected.
State Rep. Amen Brown has been working with Harrisburg lawmakers on legislation to confiscate bikes from cyclists who violate traffic laws. “I understand that riding these ATVs and dirt bikes is part of the Philadelphia culture, but there is a time and a place for it,” he said.
‘The weather is nice. This is why all branches of government and law enforcement must work together to tackle this problem.