Madison group helps Chicago develop violence reduction plan

Madison group helps Chicago develop violence reduction plan

Madison leaders visited Chicago this week to share their plan to reduce violence in Chicago.

The $600 million 15-point plan was written by members of Madison’s Focused Interruption Coalition along with 40 grassroots leaders from Chicago.

The proposal suggests money being spent on prisons should be reinvested back into local businesses to hire employees from the black community. It also calls for the construction of new community centers in areas with the highest concentration of homicides.

Last year there were 762 homicides in Chicago, a 50 percent increase from the previous year, according to CNN.

Michael Johnson, president of the Boys & Girls Club of Dane County, is part of the Focused Interruption Coalition that wrote the plan. He says the plan is not an anti-policing strategy but a community policing approach to help areas highly impacted by homicides.

“When these guys commit crimes and they’re walking the streets of Chicago shooting and those bullets are hitting our babies, we’ve got to hold them accountable,” Johnson said. “We’ve got to incarcerate them. We can’t have men in the streets shooting and killing our kids.”

Johnson and joined Chicago community members Friday to mourn the death of 12-year-old Kanari Gentry-Bowers, who was killed by a stray bullet while playing basketball on a Chicago playground. Another child, 11-year-old Takiya Holmes was killed by a stray bullet recently while sitting in the backseat of a minivan.

Johnson said this violence is “unacceptable” and that the Chicago Police Department has “no choice but to dedicate resources to solving these issues.”