Chicago Mayor Lightfoot calls on feds to send more resources to help combat violent crime
CHICAGO - Mayor Lori Lightfoot is requesting that U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland send more federal resources to Chicago to help combat the surging crime and gun violence.
Lightfoot made the announcement during a public safety news conference Monday afternoon.
Lightfoot made three specific requests of Garland. One being that he send ATF agents to Chicago for six months in order to "increase the number of gun investigations and gun seizures."
Secondly, Lightfoot is requesting more federal prosecutors be sent to the city in order to handle new crime cases that will be generated by the federal government also sending more ATF agents to work on investigations.
Thirdly, Lightfoot wants Garland to send additional federal marshals to Chicago to help the Cook County Sheriff's Office and Chicago Police Department with tracking down thousands of individuals wanted on warrants.
"We need these additional resources well in advance of summer," Lightfoot said.
Lightfoot also called on the Department of Justice to bring together "multi-jurisdictional task forces to stop illegal gun trafficking across state lines from southern states like Mississippi, up the interstate, through Indiana, and over the border to Chicago."
Lightfoot went on to say that the city must continue to get ghost guns off the streets.
"They have no serial numbers, are untraceable, and can be assembled at home," she said.
"I want to remind you that anyone who provides information about the location of illegal guns that leads to a seizure and prosecution will be eligible to receive up to $15,000. We have a million dollars set aside. We are serious about this and we need your help," Lightfoot added.
The mayor noted that the Chicago Police Department is on track to seize 12,000 illegal guns off the streets of Chicago.
"CPD will seize more illegal firearms off our streets than New York and Los Angeles combined," she said.
Lightfoot also touched on fighting gangs.
"…gangs are targeting young boys with promises of wealth, an easy life, a sense of purpose and belonging. These can be and are very seductive to a vulnerable child," she said. "No gang member is this city should ever rest easy. People must also stop shielding them. We need to bring them to justice."
"There are people in our city right now who know the identity of shooters who have killed or harmed. I beg you to come forward. We need you to break your silence," Lightfoot added.
Lightfoot said CPD will expand the number of officers who investigate gangs and increase the number of homicide detectives.
The mayor said besides just the illegal guns and dangerous people out on the streets, the city must address poverty and neglect.
"Many of the communities that are most plagued by violent crime also have high incidences of poverty, high unemployment, homelessness, drug addiction and other ills that tear away at the fabric of community," Lightfoot said.
The mayor concluded her remarks by saying, in part: "For me as a Chicagoan, and not just as Mayor, there is no greater or higher calling than to be relentless in our shared mission to bring peace to our communities. I need all of you to be on this journey with me. If you are a person of faith, when you humble yourself and ask for God’s grace, ask for blessings for your neighbors too, whether you know them or not."
"There is no problem that we cannot tackle if we lock arms and do it together. So with renewed faith and confidence and a commitment to address our immediate and longer term challenges around public safety, we cannot forget that Chicago remains and will always be a great city, a city we love and call home. God Bless You and Happy Holidays."