BRONZEVILLE — A town hall meeting Friday at Chicago Police headquarters will focus on ways to reduce gun violence, especially among young people.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel is scheduled to give opening remarks, according to Chicago Police Sgt. Saadia Carter, project manager for the Chicago chapter of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, which is sponsoring the 4 p.m. event at 3510 S. Michigan Ave.
Scheduled panelists include Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy; Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez; former Chicago police Supt. Terry Hilliard and the Rev. Michael Pfleger, pastor of St. Sabina Church in Auburn Gresham.
Carter said a separate town hall meeting with about 40 youths will take place simultaneously at the headquarters.
"We are holding a separate town hall meeting for youths because our young people are being affected greatly by gun violence, so we want to hear from them, too," she said.
The town hall meetings are part of an annual three-day winter symposium, some of which are running Thursday through Saturday at the Motorola Solutions campus in northwest suburban Schaumburg.
Parents who have lost children to gun violence also have been invited to attend, Carter said.
"We have asked community partners and our CAPS [Chicago Alternative Policing Strategies] officers to reach out to parents and youths affected by gun violence," Carter said.
Maureen Forte, president of the Chicago chapter of the National Action Network, said its founder, the Rev. Al Sharpton, will not be there but that representatives from her group "are going to look at attending because gun violence is killing our people every day."
NOBLE, whose Chicago chapter consists of 420 members, was founded in 1976 with a goal of increasing the number of African-Americans in law enforcement, especially in supervisory positions, Carter said.
"I have been a sergeant for 21 years, and while I have seen strides [and] more African-American police officers come up the ranks, there is always room for improvement," she said.
"Residents have said they want to see more officers that look like them," Carter said.
"So in the 7th District in Englewood, residents want more African-Americans, and in the 8th District they want to see more Hispanics," Carter said.
Due to limited seating, Carter said anyone interested in attending the town hall meeting should email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tarrah Cooper, a mayoral spokeswoman, was unavailable for comment.