For the first time since the program's inception, CeaseFire will receive funding from the City of Chicago. After weeks of negotiations with the city’s top brass and police officials, CeaseFire and the City of Chicago announced that $1 million will go to expanding the program in Chicago’s Grand-Crossing and Ogden districts. Until now, CeaseFire has depended upon state, federal and private aid in order to operate, but Tuesday’s historic announcement signals the start of a partnership between Chicago Police and CeaseFire.
The Chicago Sun-Times noted Mayor Emanuel’s screening of The Interrupters (he hosted a private discussion with public health and city officials in February 2012) as a key to making him aware of the program and its potential impact on quelling the rising number of homicides in Chicago. Sun-Times reporter Frank Main noted, “The Interrupters, the acclaimed documentary about the Chicago-based anti-violence group CeaseFire, caught Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s attention. Worried about the city’s rising tide of bloodshed, Emanuel was impressed with CeaseFire’s strategy of sending ex-felons into the streets to mediate gang conflicts and stop shootings. The mayor decided to put his police superintendent, Garry McCarthy, and CeaseFire founder Gary Slutkin in the same room a few months ago to discuss a possible partnership, according to City Hall sources.”
MSNBC, Huffington Post, and the Chicago Tribune all noted the significance of the partnership, but also expressed that something needs to be done to curb the rise in Chicago shootings. Realscreen also posted on the film's direct influence on the Mayor's decision.
For more on the partnership between the City of Chicago and CeaseFire, watch this report from WTTW-Channel 11 to see CeaseFire’s Tio Hardiman discuss this historic partnership.
And to check out The Interrupters, a free screening and youth art exhibit is scheduled for Friday, July 6th at 5 PM at Chicago’s National Museum of Mexican Art. The film is still available to watch free online, or to purchase on DVD and on Blu-Ray.