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“Cure Violence:” Chicago-based group training “interrupters” in Milwaukee

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MILWAUKEE -- When it comes to preventing future violence in the city, some help has come to Milwaukee.

Those with the Chicago-based group "Cure Violence" on Thursday, June 30th were here to provide some training.  Given the violence in Chicago, officials said they know many will be skeptical.Cure Violence

"Violence is a preventable disease," said Reggie Moore, director of Milwaukee's Office of Violence Prevention.

As Milwaukee seeks a cure for its seemingly increasing violence, the city has enlisted the help of some to our south.

"We feel we can learn from groups from outside the city of Milwaukee. It doesn't mean we're going to have them come in and run the effort or adopt all of their practices," said Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.

Mayor Tom Barrett

Mayor Tom Barrett

"Cure Violence" aims to interrupt violence by building trust and gaining knowledge of when something might be brewing, and then stepping in.

In Milwaukee, the group will help with the Franklin Heights and Garden Homes neighborhoods -- where young people like Tyvon Williams hope to live in peace.

"I just want to go to school and do what I gotta do. Get up out the streets," said Williams.

Officials know the public will question what makes someone in Chicago an authority on reducing violence.Cure Violence

"They're working in several neighborhoods in Chicago and in those neighborhoods, they've continued to see a decrease in comparison to data across the rest of the city," said Moore.

A 2009 national study did show a decline in shootings in "Ceasefire" Chicago neighborhoods.

FOX6 News has asked the group to provide recent data from the Chicago neighborhoods where the group is currently working amid the sharp increase in gun violence in the Midwest's largest city. The organization has had its had its funding cut in recent years by both Chicago and the state of Illinois. It is currently housed at the University of Illinois - Chicago.

A city spokesman says Milwaukee is not paying Cure Violence at this time.

The group's efforts revolve around a three-step approach: 1. detect high-risk people, situations, 2. Reaching and treating those at risk, 3. Changing behavioral norms.

crime scene generic

It's a controversial method; these "interrupters" could be ex-convicts, and sometimes those on the street do not share information with police.

Moore says something similar could be in the works for Milwaukee.

"It could include anyone that’s willing to – both folks that may have a background, those that may not," he said, "But our commitment is to make sure we have folks on the ground that are committed to this work."

"We’re gonna have a lot of oversight no matter what we do," Barrett added.

The group says it's a sensitive balance as "interrupters" must first earn trust from those at risk.

"We're not like investigators. We're dealing with people where they're at. We're not trying to hear all of the history. We want to deal with the situation," said "Cure Violence" Chief Program Director Brent Decker.

Fatal shooting near 18th and Vine

Brent Decker

Brent Decker

Representatives from "Cure Violence" will be training community workers in Milwaukee all day on Friday, July 1.

There have been instances from Chicago to New York where "interrupters" committed crimes themselves.

The group says those instances are rare -- but it is constantly reviewing its screening process to prevent future problems.

"Really doing a systematic review of each case that’s actually happened so we can ensure that our management system, which we’ve updated every year, has the strongest thinking about how we prevent these events from happening," Decker said.

Shooting at 58th and Ruby

14 comments

    • unicorns and rainbows

      You beat me to it on June 31st. Must fall in the same year as Feb, Apr, Sep and Nov 31st. And they call this a news organization.

  • Opinion8d

    Another ‘program’ that wastes tax dollars!!! And their effectiveness is based on a 2009 Study??? How about doing some reporting and telling us how much this program costs!!

  • Chattipatti65

    Father in Heaven, who would be so stupid as to bring someone from Chicago to help Milwaukee?????? Clean up your own city and then speak???????????? I’m on the floor laughing ( in my Homer Simpson Voice)

  • phacepalm

    This all started back in the early 1980’s when our welfare system gave anyone bennies who have lived in Wisconsin 6 months. North Chicago & Chicago Gang Bangers with their parents and all other Chicago scum came up to freeload. And 3 or 4? generations later we have this BS happening now.,

  • SQTruth

    This sounds like way to introduce leadership amongst the violence. You have a group of unruly teens with no direction, introduce “former” offenders to stop violence. I don’t think so, they may stop violence within the hood, but they will also be organized with leadership to commit larger scale crimes.

  • Alpha Co.

    This is a scam organization and a waste of tax payer dollars! Chicago is a cesspool and the violence is increasing. There were reports just last year of some of these folks still being in gangs and committing crimes. So this Mayor believes that he needs to bring in current and former Chicago criminals to help contain Milwaukee criminals. And this will keep his citizens safe?! The taxpayers of that city should have him removed from office. We all know it isn’t the people of these communities paying his salary! Or move to a different county, say Waukesha. Taking your tax dollars with you. Here is an idea Milwaukee. You have CCW available to you. By a gun, train and carry when walking the streets. This way when one of your home grown terrorist, I mean street rat thugs try’s to hurt or kill you, you can let your weapon do the negotiating or in this case “interrupt” their plan!

  • Hillary is a HE-devil!!

    They are from Chicago of all places? The same city that has what 600 homicides i think? Either way,it’s a sh*thole of a city like Killwaukee is. Thanks Mayor McCheese for WASTING more of our TAXPAYER money on this useless crap! Take your Libtard ideas McCheese and leave the city. Take that other useless Libtard Chief Wiggum with you.

  • Michael Neils

    There should be training on how to not make and enter plea deals & serve the full jail/prison sentence for the attorneys and judges.

  • Dylan

    An idiotic idea..I surely hope wisconsin taxpayer money isnt.being spent…Chicago shoukd.solve their own problems first they are.no example to.set your sights on what a joke

  • Dylan

    Read all about Chicago’s murders over 2000….this is a failed program. Go home and fine tune ur failed program you fools

Comments are closed.