Nearly 300 Chicago officers promoted as struggle to combat city violence continues

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CHICAGO -- With the start of the new year, the City of Chicago is looking to get a handle on deadly street violence by attacking it from several directions.

Tuesday alone saw three people killed and at least 11 others wounded in shootings on the South and West sides.

That included the killings of two teenage boys in East Garfield Park in an apparent drive-by shooting which police believe was gang-related.

A stray bullet wounded a 65-year-old woman inside her home.

Combatting the epidemic of violence is prompting the opening of a new youth center on the South side.

Black Lives Matter activist Ja’mal Green, 21, announced plans to open a center on E. 43rd St. in Bronzeville. He hopes to take children ages 12 to 14, teach them the tools for success, and guide them away from a directionless life on the street.

Green and his partners say they need to raise almost $50,000 to get the center up and running.

With a growing national spotlight on the deadly violence in Chicago, a new study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association claims, Chicago violence is contagious, and should be treated as a disease.

Researchers focused on nearly 10,000 gunshot victims over an eight-year period ending in 2014; they concluded that people in violent social networks are twice as likely to become gun victims.

The researchers say, violence-prevention programs should take a public health approach.

Two hundred seventy Chicago police officers will be promoted Wednesday, as part of the police department’s plan to put 1,000 new officers on the street.

Half of those promoted will become detectives, the rest of the promotions include the positions of lieutenant and field training officer.