On the heels of an evening when at least 10 people were wounded in shootings in Chicago, Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced that additional federal support is coming to help the city in their attempts to reduce gun violence citywide.
Emanuel and Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy announced Friday that 50 federal agents will be coming to the assistance of Chicago police and the Department of Justice will also be upping its support of the city's violence reduction initiative, ABC Chicago reports.
"We are going to be employing the strategy of working on the worst of the worst, the two degrees of separation, which we have explained," McCarthy said Friday, according to ABC. "It is a social networking that has to do with the people who are most likely to be involved in homicide."
The focus of the initiative, launched in January, is on reducing narcotics and other vice violations through increased foot patrols, street and vehicle stops and more aggressive enforcement of existing warrants, based on the principle that more minor offenses "encourage violent and criminal activity."
Emanuel said the initiative has already reduced violent crime in the city's Woodlawn and East Garfield Park neighborhoods, where it was originally implemented, according to NBC Chicago.
Prior to the announcement, at least 10 people were hurt in shootings citywide Thursday evening into early Friday, mostly on the city's South Side, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
One of the shooting victims, a 17-year-old boy struck in the leg and buttocks, was shot about a block away from President Obama's Chicago home, the second shooting in the immediate area in a week, according to CBS Chicago.
Around 11 a.m. Friday, a 15-year-old girl was shot in the abdomen in the city's West Garfield Park neighborhood, according to the Chicago Tribune. She was listed in critical condition early Friday afternoon.
Over the last week, at least 82 people have been either wounded or killed by gun violence. Over the weekend alone, at least nine people were killed and 37 wounded in shootings.
Gun violence in Chicago recently inspired high school students participating in Columbia College's Columbia Links journalism training program to create a poignant collection of essays titled "Don't Shoot: I Want To Grow Up." One contributing student compared his experience of living on the South Side to a war zone and nicknamed the city "Chi-raq."
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