CHICAGO — Mayor Brandon Johnson has appointed the first-ever Deputy Mayor of Community Safety in efforts to combat root causes of crime and violence, the City of Chicago said.

Johnson announced Friday that Garien Gatewood, the director of the Illinois Justice Project (IJP), will serve in the newly created governmental role.

In his time at IJP, Gatewood took action to refocus youth and adults away from the justice system and give support to those re-entering society after incarceration.

In 2021, Gatewood was also appointed by Governer JB Pritzker to serve on the Board of Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority, a state organization that hones in on improvement of public safety.

In a statement released by the mayor’s office, Gatewood said:

“I’ve worked with the young people of Chicago for years, and I know that together we can deliver on a vision for a stronger, safer city that addresses the root causes of violence, provides support for youth and adults alike, and lifts up every neighborhood.” 

Gatewood will carry the mayor’s vision on public safety through community engagement and diversion programs.