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Denver Shifting Focus on Gang Intervention Amid Spike in Violence

March 06, 2015  | 

Amid a spike in violence, Denver gang members were invited to a closed-door meeting Wednesday night where cops and prosecutors laid down the law while social workers and other service providers offered options for a better life, reports the Denver Post.

The meeting was part of the city's new Group Violence Intervention program, one of dozens of offerings in Denver's plan to reduce gang violence. It is an offshoot of Ceasefire, a gang-intervention program introduced in 2012 by Police Chief Robert White.

Ceasefire, which also called gang members into closed-door meetings, had demonstrated success in other cities but also had proved hard to maintain.

Group Violence Intervention program can be described as "Ceasefire 2.0," said Christine Downs, a Denver Police Department spokeswoman.

The plan is to narrow the focus toward the people who are the most violent.

The Gang Reduction Initiative in Denver (GRID) program fights gang violence through prevention, intervention and suppression. GRID, which started in 2010 with a $2.2 million federal grant, has been funded for two more years. The latest federal grant is for $611,000.

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