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Families, residents camp out to honor slain officer in annual event

CHICAGO -- The sixth annual Peace in the Park after dark kicked off Friday afternoon at Nat King Cole Park in Chicago’s Chatham.

Families will be camping out as part of the event in memory of fallen Chicago police officer Thomas Wortham IV.

Wortham was killed during a robbery in 2010 near the park in 2010.  He had been president of the Cole Park Advisory Council before his murder.

Friday, kids 11 to 17 were invited here to spend the night under the stars and have had a fun filled evening so far playing tug of war, throwing the football around, doing crafts and battling each other in a dance contest.

The event is meant for officers in the 6th District to have a positive interaction with community youth and promote crime prevention.

Officer Wortham's parents love putting on this event every year in their son's honor to influence the young people in this neighborhood.

“It's important they have positive experiences to choose from to look back on,” Carolyn Wortham said. “And I think one of the most important parts is the interaction with law enforcement.”

This event runs until 8:00 a.m.