Community activists celebrate no gang-related shootings in several neighborhoods over holiday weekend

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Despite the recent violence, there are signs of hope after this holiday weekend among those trying to stop the shootings.

Community group Increase the Peace said Back of the Yards, Brighton Park and Gage Park had zero gang-related shootings over July 4th weekend.

"That's the result of hard work, of building relationships and trust with the community," said Berto Aguayo, co-founder and director of Increase the Peace. "This small win belongs to all of us, and that is just a sneak peek into what we can do together."

Volunteers maintained a positive presence in each of those neighborhoods, marching, cleaning up, and handing out food and PPE.

The same strategy also worked in South Shore.

"We engaged our communities, we activated positive loitering, marches, a peace rally, block parties, a host of other peaceful engagement activity and that's what worked for us," said community organizer William Calloway.

Calloway said he hopes to partner with community leaders on Chicago's West Side to help apply this crime prevention method there too.
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