City Unveils First-Ever Violence Reduction Plan

By: Ashmar Mandou

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Local NewsIn an effort to combat the increase in gun violence ravaging Chicago neighborhoods, the City of Chicago on Tuesday released the first-ever comprehensive “violence reduction plan” designed to provide public safety guidance initiatives and programming to drastically reduce violence over the next three years.

“The epidemic of violence is a national public health crisis that has taken the lives of too many across our city and our entire country,” said Mayor Lightfoot. “Just as Chicago has come together to fight the unprecedented impact of COVID-19 on our communities, we must do the same to address the immense challenges they continue to face due to violence of all kinds.”

Entitled “Our City, Our Safety: A Comprehensive Plan to Reduce Violence in Chicago,” the initiative took more than year to come to fruition with the collaboration with State and County partners, community members, philanthropy organizations, faith leaders, and business sectors in an all-hands-on-deck effort to expand the City’s violence reduction work through 2023.  According to the City of Chicago, more than 3,000 people have been killed in Chicago since 2016 and more than 12,000 have been shot. These statistics promptly mustered the experiences of government officials, service providers, faith leaders, local leaders, and individuals to help facilitate ways to reduce violence in Chicago.

Treating violence as a public health crisis that is not only preventable but also treatable through an intentional, coordinated, and sustained effort, these initiatives are led by five guiding pillars, which include: 

1. Empower and Heal People: Ensuring residents can thrive without fear of violence by increasing capacity and service quality of gun violence, domestic violence, diversion, and victim services programs while also expanding access to jobs and housing for those impacted by violence. 

2. Protect and Secure Places:  Reducing the “safety gap” between safer communities and those most affected by violence through investing in place-based programming and services, and revitalizing neighborhood economies through City-led initiatives like INVEST South/West. 

3. Improve and Advance Policing: Increasing police legitimacy in communities where trust has eroded by acknowledging past harms by the Chicago Police Department (CPD) and implementing new police reforms at every level of the Department, consistent with the consent decree. 

4. Affect Public Policy: Better collaborating with State and County partners in coordinating policy efforts related to public safety and violence prevention, with a special focus on criminal justice reform, gun regulation, and equitable quality of life. 

5. Plan and Coordinate: Further facilitating coordination among not only City departments and sister agencies but also private and community-based efforts to ensure alignment on public safety strategies and efforts in all 77 of Chicago’s communities. 

“This comprehensive plan truly acknowledges the way that violence impacts the mental health of individuals and entire communities. I applaud Mayor Lightfoot and the Office of Violence Reduction team for their continued commitment to addressing this reality through coalition-building with local mental health and community organizations to ensure our most vulnerable residents have the services they need to heal and to thrive,” said Alexa James, Chief Executive Officer, National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Chicago.  To learn more about the plan and ongoing work by the Mayor’s Office of Violence Reduction, please

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