Illinois deploys 'Peacekeepers' to curb violence in Chicago over Memorial Day weekend
CHICAGO - In a bold initiative aimed at curbing violence during the typically tumultuous Memorial Day weekend, the state of Illinois is implementing a new strategy by deploying specially trained "peacekeepers" across the city of Chicago.
With the haunting memory of last year's Memorial Day weekend, which witnessed 52 shootings and claimed the lives of nine individuals, Governor JB Pritzker's office is taking proactive measures to maintain public safety.
These newly appointed peacekeepers, part of the Illinois Department of Human Services' Citywide Crisis Prevention and Response Unit, will be tasked with de-escalating and mediating tense situations in Chicago neighborhoods. Thirty dedicated workers will collaborate with various city and state agencies to ensure peaceful environments throughout the holiday weekend.
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The governor's office has allocated $750,000 in state funding for this strategy, which will be implemented through the end of June.
Gov. Pritzker considers this initiative a significant step towards addressing violence through research-based, community-focused approaches.