WDEL Blog: Allan Loudell

Would Wilmington benefit by bringing in Chicago crime expert?

Mayor Williams' administration in the City of Wilmington touts bringing in one of the founders of the Cure Violence Program, an anti-violence project of the Chicago Project for Violence Prevention.

The program seeks to reduce bloodshed in the streets by having outreach folks intervene in potentially violent situations.

Cure Violence began as CeaseFire, Incorporated, and that program dealt with individuals being treated for violence at the Advocate Christ Medical Center. Indeed, there was a religious component.

Mayor Williams wants to implement the "Chicago plan" here -- to the tune of 100-thousand dollars.

But would it do much good?

The program is touted as having made a "major dent" in street crime in Chicago. It did, for a while. To cite one statistic, when CeaseFire expanded in Chicago - with additional funding from the State of Illinois, since rescinded - homicides plummeted in Chicago by 25% in 2004.

A Northwestern University study concluded the program had lowered shootings and killings. Retaliatory shootings dropped 100% in five of the seven communities under review.

But what the Williams Administration didn't say is that shootings in Chicago have rebounded dramatically since.

I didn't have to use my search engine to find a past article about shootings. Literally this past weekend, Chicago saw eight people killed and more than 40 shot. This unrelenting bloodshed has become a major crisis for Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, of course, former chief of staff to President Obama.

So one wonders: Does Cure Violence's approach only work for a while? Do entrenched factors erase the positives? (One recent speaker in Chicago suggested the Windy City faces literally three generations of families for whom drugs and street violence are the new norm, practically the family business.)

So is it worth it for already financially-strapped Wilmington to throw money at Cure Violence? Some observers sense an overwhelmed Williams Administration grasping at straws...



This editorial in The CHICAGO TRIBUNE -- "Is Chicago helpless?" -- reflects the current desperation...


One senses no one in the Williams Administration had a clue that touting violent crime reduction in Chicago - even if once true - might not clash with current headlines from the Windy City.

You can hear my interview with Dr. Daniel Webster - Co-Director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy & Research; he was the lead researcher for a scientific study evaluating an anti-violence program's impact on four of Baltimore's most violent neighborhoods. He actually thinks Wilmington could very well benefit from implementing the "Chicago Plan"... despite Chicago's current bout of bloodshed...

Audio Here

Veteran CHICAGO TRIBUNE police reporter Jeremy Gorner addresses the building violence in Chicago; whether this represents a failure of the so-called, Chicago Plan and Cure Violence; and how the Cure Violence philosophy includes basically NOT collaborating with police, lest Cure Violence lose credibility with people in the street. (Mayor Williams - whom some regard as a control freak - can actually sign off on this?). Listen to my interview with Gorner...

Audio Here

Posted at 2:18pm on April 22, 2014 by Allan Loudell

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Comments on this post:

Tue, Apr 22, 2014 2:58pm

Really? Chicago has the answers to end gun violence?

Maybe Wilmington officials/police should do what Chicago fails to do...PROSECUTE those caught with ILLEGAL firearms, especially if used during a crime!

Mike from Delaware
Tue, Apr 22, 2014 3:43pm
This "Chicago Plan" doesn't sound like the answer. I agree with EarlGrey the city needs to prosecute those caught with ILLEGAL firearms, especially if used during a crime.

The Wilmington Mayor is willing to try the failed Chicago plan, but won't consider trying the successful NYC Giuliani plan. Sounds partisan to me. Giuliani is a Republican, Emanuel is a Democrat, like the mayor.

This problem is beyond partisanship. Good ideas are good ideas no matter who suggests them. Time to clean up the street thugs and get them off both the city and county streets. Time to take back our streets. Sadly the city government now and for the past couple administrations all lack the "kahonas" to do what is needed. So Wilmington will continue to be more and more a cesspool of violence.

Tue, Apr 22, 2014 7:46pm
Maybe they'd be better off to hire a Canadian. Compare the violent crime numbers between Detroit, MI and Windsor, ON (a five minute drive by bridge or tunnel).
Cleveland hired Elliot Ness as their public safety director. Didn't help much. Partly because old El has a serious drinking problem.

Tue, Apr 22, 2014 10:30pm
There's an outside chance the Chicago crime expert could help, but for $100,000? At best, it's a crapshoot.

Mike from Delaware
Tue, Apr 22, 2014 11:03pm
Bill smith: Interesting idea, of finding out what Canada does.

Wed, Apr 23, 2014 8:53am
I don't see the need to bring in an outsider. I'm sure Williams has a brother-in-law, cousin's wife, or nephew who could use the $100,000 of my tax money, and get the same results.

Wed, Apr 23, 2014 9:05am
dunmore: Good point...maybe someone should see if this Chicago "expert" is actually Williams' wife's cousin's nephew... it would be the Delaware Way.

Wed, Apr 23, 2014 9:29am
NPR 04/22
45 People Were Shot In Chicago Over The Weekend


Wed, Apr 23, 2014 10:41am
And yet no one was shot in Mayberry this past weekend... Instead of Chicago, we should hire Mayberry's sheriff and deputy....

It would be worth it just to have on our city streets, their old police car with a bubble gum machine on its top.....

Wed, Apr 23, 2014 1:36pm
The sheriff and deputy you're thinking of are both dead. Opie and Thelma Lou are the only ones left.

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