Cook County officials unveil $50 million anti-violence plan

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CHICAGO -- Cook County Commissioner Richard Boykin, Sheriff Tom Dart and others unveiled what they are calling the "Community Stabilization and Anti-Violence Act" today at Chicago Urban League headquarters on the South Side.

Chicago is searching for solutions to a troubling increase in violent crime this year.  So far, in just three months, the city had nearly 800 shootings and more than 130 homicides -- making this the bloodiest start to a year in two decades.

Experts and advocates believe a big part of the problem is the extraordinarily high unemployment rates in some of the city's most violent neighborhoods.  So this proposal focuses on youth employment programs.

Under the plan, Cook County would impose a 4-cent per gallon tax on gas that would raise $50 million in revenue to fund programs to help teens find jobs. The tax is estimated to cost the average driver in Cook County about $28 a year.

At today's news conference, Commissioner Boykin and others repeated the phrase: Nothing stops a bullet like a job.

The money would fund a $2 million community policing initiative that would pay for the hiring of 15 new Sheriff's police officers.


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