Mayor Lori Lightfoot speaks with emotion at a CPD press conference on Jan. 26, 2022 where officials announced that a man and a teenage boy were charged with murder in the slaying of eight-year-old Melissa Ortega in Little Village. Credit: Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago

CHICAGO — The city will hold virtual town halls over the next two weeks where residents can ask questions and give feedback about strategies to reduce violence.

There will be six town halls, with five focused on various Chicago regions — the North and Northwest sides, the West Side, the Southwest Side, the city’s center and the South Side — and another that will be in Spanish, according to a Mayor’s Office news release. Police Department and Community Safety Coordination Center staff members will be there to speak with participants.

The Community Safety Coordination Center launched in August with the goal of bringing together public safety programs, nonprofits, youth organizations, teachers and spiritual leaders together to discuss anti-violence measures. 

“As part of this strategy, we want to hear from our residents to learn what more we can do to wrap our arms around their communities,” Lightfoot said in the news release. “The invaluable voices of residents will build upon the [the center’s] holistic approach to community safety and help the City rapidly respond to the needs of Chicagoans.”

More than 20 government departments offered strategies to reduce violence, leading to a plan that involves “people-based, place-based and crisis response” strategies, according to the Mayor’s Office. Tactics include creating diversion programs, investing in housing and green spaces and doing community outreach with law enforcement. 

Sign up here to participate in a town hall.

The schedule:

North/Northwest sides: 6-8 p.m. Wednesday

West Side: 6-8 p.m. Thursday

Southwest Side: 10 a.m.-noon Saturday

Loop, Near North Side, West Loop and South Loop: 6-8 p.m. March 15

South Side: 6-8 p.m. March 16

Spanish-language town hall: 10 a.m.-noon March 19

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