Chicago police recruits visit African American museum

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CHICAGO (AP) - Chicago Police Department recruits are visiting an African American history museum - a trip that's part of an effort to improve the relationship between minority communities and a department long plagued by allegations of brutality and racism.

On Monday, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson welcomed 56 recruits to the DuSable Museum of African American History.

Chicago has seen a surge in gun violence, much of it in poor, largely minority neighborhoods, and officials hope that a better understanding of life in those neighborhoods will help the department rebuild its relationship with residents there.

Also on Monday, officials announced that the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms is lending the city a van outfitted with ballistic testing equipment to help police more quickly solve gun crimes.