CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Even as gun crime rates come down in Chicago, we're hearing more about the work of so-called violence interupters. Now, the University of Chicago has created a nationwide program to train such people.
The University of Chicago Crime Lab month started a Community Violence Intervention Leadership Academy this month.
Academy Director Dr. Chico Tillmon said people from around the country are learning to be better overall at the task of preventing flare-ups of violence--and de-escalating situations where violence has already occurred.
Steering Committee member Marcus McAllister, one of the architects of the Academy, said the Interrupters can learn to be more business-like in running their groups, and preventing burnout among the staff.
"There's training for the right staff that you hire into these particular sites, but the people we bring in some of them have that," he explained. "Some of them may not have other pieces of what's going on. The academy itself is teaching, training, showing the big picture."
With the success of programs that send neighborhood people into hot spots to calm gun violence, communities around the nation are trying to fund more ''violence interrupter'' efforts.