Camden, NJ To Hire Former Gang Members For Antiviolence Intervention

By David Madden

CAMDEN, N.J. (CBS) — The City of Camden plans to use a $1.4-million federal grant on a program aimed at cutting the city’s crime rate in a unique way.

”Cure Violence” is already at works in some neighborhoods in several cities, including Philadelphia.  The program is based out of Chicago and takes what Camden mayor Dana Redd calls a “public health approach” to gang violence and drug dealing.

“It really involves hiring interrupters and hiring street workers to be intervention personnel, if you will, to go between — to mediate violence before it happens,” she explains.

The program relies heavily on former drug dealers and gang leaders who would undergo background checks before the city would hire them.

Redd says the effort will be centered in Whitman Park, Centerville, Liberty Park, and Cooper Landing, and she hopes to have it up and running in about a month.

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