The Chicago police are putting officers inside local public high schools to talk to students about preventing gang violence before it gets out to the streets. For several months, officers assigned to the Gang School Safety Team have held more than 300 meetings in nearly 20 Chicago public high schools. All meetings are voluntary and involve meeting with large groups of students if a conflict is brewing inside a school. Some of the meetings are private involving the officers and the students they think need intervention. A parent or school representative is always present to monitor the meeting. If a shooting happens, officers go to the schools and meet with students to figure out what was behind the shooting and to determine whether a retaliation is being planned. The officers explore ways to avoid any escalation of violence.
The Chicago Police are confidant that this new approach is playing a significant role in helping reduce gang violence.
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