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updated: 12/28/2012 8:05 AM

Chicago demolishes more than 250 vacant buildings

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Associated Pres

The city of Chicago has demolished more than 250 vacant buildings this year in an effort to eliminate potential gang hangouts in high-crime neighborhoods.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in a statement Thursday the demolitions are part of a joint initiative between Chicago police and the city's Department of Buildings.

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The city has focused on vacant and dangerous buildings that could become havens for illegal activity such as drug use and prostitution. Buildings are targeted for demolition based on recommendations from the community and the number of calls for service received.

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