City looks at future of gun violence prevention programs

Local News

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — City leaders are looking at the future of its gun violence deterrence initiative.

Since 2016, city and government organizations involved in gun violence prevention programs have received more than $300,000 in funding through a grant from the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority (ICJIA). That grant is set to end in 2020.

The ICJIA grant helped fund the CU Fresh Start program, which brings people with a history of gun violence together with law enforcement, city and community leaders. Officials said the first three years of the program showed the importance of strengthening police-community relations.

CU Fresh Start is also part of a task force which holds neighborhood forums and reaches out to people after shootings in their areas. The program has helped participants find housing, social services and jobs.

Officials will need to decide this year if they want to find new ways of funding CU Fresh Start or whether they should look at new deterrence options altogether.

More than 99 shootings happened in Champaign in 2019.

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