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Chicago rolls out SWAT teams to battle violence

/ Source: The Associated Press

Mayor Richard Daley met with community leaders Friday while police prepared SWAT teams and increased street patrols to head off a second straight weekend of violence.

But Daley said extra police presence won't to solve the problem long term. He said his unusual step of calling together more than two dozen officials from the police department, schools, social service agencies and religious groups for City Hall summit was just the start of a continuing dialogue about how to combat the violence. Last weekend, nine people were killed in three dozen shootings.

"I don't know why people think you're going to end something with a lot of police ... end something with a lot of guns, you don't," he said. "You have to have a combination of prevention and intervention and yes, yes, enforcement, but they all go hand-in-hand."

Daley blasted the gun industry and called on parents and adults to do their part by intervening to help troubled youth and by working to keep others on the right path.

Tio Hardiman, executive director of CeaseFire, an anti-violence group, said young people need help finding alternatives to the streets.

"We need to go right to the corners and find out what some of these young people want to do, identify some employers that are willing to hire maybe 30 from this neighborhood, 30 from another neighborhood and try to get them hired somewhere so then we can get them off the corners."

Hardiman said he expected less violence this weekend because of the police presence and other steps by community groups, including his group's efforts to talk to gang members and mediate disputes.

Last weekend, there were 36 shootings — at least 14 of which police believed were gang related.

But he said he's concerned about possible repercussions from a shooting at a McDonald's on Monday night that left one man dead and four others injured.

The area where the shooting took place is believe to be a stronghold of the Gangster Disciples street gang and Hardiman said he's concerned that someone may try to retaliate for the shooting.

"That could spill into violence because of the people involved," he said.