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Maya Rodriguez / Eyewitness News
Email: mrodriguez@wwltv.com | Twitter: @mrodriguezwwl

NEW ORLEANS-- Considered one of the city's most violent neighborhoods, Central City is the testing ground for CeaseFire New Orleans, a Chicago-inspired initiative launched this spring and one that leaders hope can translate into results on the streets of New Orleans.

'This model has happened in other areas and has worked in other areas, and we believe that the proper execution of this particular initiative will work in this particular area,' said New Orleans Crime Commissioner James Carter.

At the core of CeaseFire are eight people: four outreach workers and four interrupters, consisting of some individuals who were once on the wrong side of the law, but are now trained to intervene in conflicts and try to stop retaliatory killings. The CeaseFire team met with family members of Tuesday's quintuple shooting in Central City.

'This is not the first sort of involvement in the community to mediate between rivaling individuals right now, but this is one of obviously the most egregious matters that has happened in and outside of the area,' Carter said.

The anti-crime activist organization 'Silence Is Violence' likes the concept of the cease fire program, but they said it is still not that well-known in the broader community.

'There is an unfortunate lack of understanding of what is going on within cease fire across the city, and I think maybe some more transparency and just little more communication with the broader community could help clear it up,' said Baty Landis, communications director for 'Silence Is Violence.'

They also said prevention is key, as they hope to see results for a program allotted $750,000.

'They need to get involved continually to promote peace within the communities and not just respond when a tragic event has happened,' said Tamara Jackson, who directs victim and community outreach for the organization.

Crime Commissioner Carter said they are working on reaching out. The program launched nearly two months ago.

'We believe in the early stages what they are doing is called building relationships in the community right now,' Carter said.

The city hopes to eventually bring the CeaseFire program to other parts of the city, including St. Roch and New Orleans East.

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