Chicago CeaseFire Claims Gang Mediation Success; Police: “Work in Progress”


More than three months into a $1 million contract with the city of Chiago, the anti-violence group CeaseFire has “no significant success stories,” a ranking police source tells the Chicago Sun-Times. It's hard to evaluate CeaseFire's mediation of gang conflicts without getting timelier reporting from the group, the source added. “You can't wait two weeks later and tell us, 'Oh yeah, we intervened in that.' We need specifics and time lines,” said the source. Asked about the partnership, police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said through a spokeswoman: “It's a work in progress.”

Tio Hardiman, director of CeaseFire Chicago, said he has been communicating regularly with police officials and believes his group is making a dent in crime in areas covered by the new pilot program. Hardiman understands the reluctance of some police officials to embrace the group, whose employees include ex-felons. Hardiman insisted his workers are busy preventing shootings. Last month, CeaseFire mediated nine gang conflicts, Hardiman said. He said he sent 49 emails to police officials concerning the conflicts and got only 22 responses. “We have made a difference to a degree,” he said. “We understand the police are doing the lion's share of the work. We are not trying to take the credit from the Chicago Police Department.”

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