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Cook County task force begins hearings on curbing gun violence

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CHICAGO --  The Cook County Gun Violence Task Force is holding the first of three public hearings Tuesday. The 15-member panel is trying to come up with ideas to reduce gun violence in the city of Chicago and throughout the county.

The task force will hear ideas from police, professors, pastors, prison guards and everyday people.

“As you know, we are currently in a state of emergency relative to gun violence," said Cook County Commissioner Richard Boykin, who chairs the task force.  "We led the nation last year in terms of the number of people shot.”

Testifying today are Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart and officials from the Chicago Police Department, the State's Attorney's Office and the University of Chicago Crime Lab.

“My personal goal is if we can we come up with four, five, ten small things, micro things that can help the community in the streets, I think that’s a home run," Sheriff Dart said.

Once the task force's work is done, it will issue a set of policy recommendations.  But the goal here is to identify small steps that can make a difference, rather than coming up with ideas for sweeping gun control legislation.