CeaseFire program shrinking due to funding woes

September 13, 2013

The Associated Press

File: Alphonso Prater, left, and Karl Bell "violence interrupters" with CeaseFire, a propram that aims to stop shooting before shots are fired, patrol the streets of Chicago's West Side.

Chicago's CeaseFire program is shrinking because funding from the city has been exhausted.

WMAQ-TV reports the organization's West Side office closed its doors Aug. 31 after a $1 million dollar grant from the city ran out. The grant was part of Mayor Rahm Emanuel's efforts in 2012 to decrease violence on the South and West sides of the city

CeaseFire uses what it calls "Violence Interrupters," some of them former gang member, to stop neighborhood violence.

An activist, Rev. Robin Hood, said a CeaseFire office in the Woodlawn neighborhood will close later this month. The Englewood office is expected to remain open.

A Chicago Department of Health spokesman said that CeaseFire was part of a "comprehensive strategy" that reduced the homicide rate, and future funding could be possible.