Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy announced Tuesday the expansion of a new approach to battling gang violence.
The new crime fighting tool is called the “Custom Notification” program. Five of the highest districts in the city are using this as a way to deter crime.
Commander Waller of the 6th District goes door to door as part of the program. He has visited 12 high level active gang members who have the most to lose. He and a person from the city’s social services department deliver the message in person: Get out of this line of work or face steeper consequences if arrested again. They offer job services, drug intervention services and finding a place to live.
The key the say is to get the gang member around his family, parents, grandparents, wife or girlfriend, and children, and show them there’s a different life they can embrace.
60 to 70 gang members and have been visited. None of them have been arrested again. And 17, or more than 30%, of the men have taken the department up on its offer. When commanders visit gang leaders in their home, crime in that area, conflicts that were escalating, decrease.
“As police we can have a significant positive impact on crime as a way other than just arresting individuals. And at the end of the day, that’s the goal. Not to arrest somebody for a violent crime but to keep that crime from happening in the first place,” McCarthy said.