Trump Keeps Promise to Send Feds to Chicago

Trump Keeps Promise to Send Feds to Chicago

Running in part as the “law and order” candidate, President Donald Trump routinely referred to the out-of-control crime in Chicago as the country’s worst example of the status quo, and even suggested that he’d “send in the feds” shortly after his inauguration if Chicago authorities didn’t start fixing things themselves.

According to WGN, it would seem that Trump just fulfilled that promise to bolster the federal law enforcement presence in the crime-ridden city that has been experiencing gang warfare and gun violence at “epidemic proportions.”

It’s been a long time coming.

Here is Trump’s Twitter posting from January.

On Friday, Trump tweeted, “Crime and killings in Chicago have reached such epidemic proportions that I am sending in Federal help. 1714 shootings in Chicago this year!”

The Chicago Sun-Times, which actually put the number of shootings in the city thus far at 1,737 — 300 of them fatal — reported that it was confirmed on Thursday that an additional 20 agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives would be sent to Chicago to help in the effort at cracking down on gun crime and the repeat criminals who routinely commit such crimes.

Those 20 agents will be joining the 30 to 45 ATF agents already working in the city, and will be taking part in the formation of a special “strike force” made up of an equal number of individuals hailing from the Chicago Police Department, the Illinois State Police and federal and local prosecutors. Its mission is to track down guns used in crimes, the repeat criminals who use them and the criminals who illegally traffic in such weapons.

“The goal is the prosecute as many of these guys as possible federally where they will serve longer prison terms,” Anthony Riccio, head of the CPD’s organized crime unit, told the Sun-Times.

The strike force will rely heavily on ballistics technology to achieve its task, such as the ATF’s digital National Integrated Ballistics Information Network, as well as high-tech gunshot sensors, surveillance video feeds, a special mobile ballistics van, and of course old-fashioned street intelligence.

This also isn’t just another limited “surge” of law enforcement designed to make a few high-profile arrests for headlines and then fade away, as has been seen in the past.

“It’s long term,” explained Dave Coulson, spokesman for the ATF office in Chicago. “They’re here permanently. It’s not a flash-in-the-pan concept where they come here for a year and leave.”

According to The Washington Post, the combined group of agents, officers and prosecutors will be known as the Chicago Crime Gun Strike Force, and is something the Chicago superintendent of police has been wanting to formulate for quite some time.

“More than just a new strategy or tactic, we are foundationally changing the way we fight crime in Chicago,” Superintendent Eddie Johnson said in a statement. “This new strike force will significantly help our police officers stem the flow of illegal guns and create a culture of accountability for the small subset of individuals and gangs who disproportionally drive violence in our city.”

Before any of Trump’s critics can call this move racist or claim that he is unfairly singling out Chicago for attention, it is worth noting that the Sun-Times reported that the idea had actually originated and been discussed by the prior administration near the end of former President Barack Obama’s term, but never acted upon.

The ball really got rolling after Johnson traveled to Washington in March to meet with Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who was described as playing an “instrumental” role in getting the plan going.

The strike force certainly has its work cut out for it, and we wish its members the best of luck in their efforts at tamping down the rampant gang violence and gun crime that has plagued the city for years.

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