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.

READ MORE: Four Children Among Five Killed In Pottstown Home Explosion, Police Say

”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.

READ MORE: Beach Erosion Will Keep One-Third Of North Wildwood Beaches Closed Memorial Day Weekend

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.

MORE NEWS: CBS3 SummerFest: 2 St. Joe's Grads Bringing New Tiki Cruise Experience For Adults To Wildwood