The Trump administration has deployed “the feds” to Chicago that the president threatened to send to the city earlier this year to get a handle on gun violence.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Friday detailed the federal “strike force” being deployed to the Windy City to target violent offenders and investigate gun crimes.
The Chicago Crime Gun Strike Force will include 20 agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; six intelligence research specialists; 12 task force officers from the Chicago Police Department; two task force officers from the Illinois State Police; and four National Integrated Ballistics Information Network specialists, according to the Justice Department.
“The Trump administration will not let the bloodshed go on; we cannot accept these levels of violence,” Mr. Sessions said. “That’s why, under President Trump’s strong leadership, we have created the Chicago Gun Strike Force and are sending 20 more permanent ATF agents to Chicago, reallocating federal prosecutors and prioritizing prosecutions to reduce gun violence, and working with our law enforcement partners to stop the lawlessness.”
The Chicago Police Department recorded 762 homicides in 2016, the most in two decades, and more than 3,500 shooting incidents.
Earlier this year President Trump threatened on Twitter to “send in the feds” if Chicago was unable to reduce violent crime — a warning that raised questions among law enforcement and policing experts who said the comments could be interpreted broadly as anything from sending in the National Guard to increasing federal funding for law enforcement.
Friday morning Mr. Trump tweeted that the federal government was going to send help to get the city’s murder rate under control.
“Crime and killings in Chicago have reached such epidemic proportions that I am sending in Federal help. 1714 shootings in Chicago this year!” the president said on Twitter.
Mr. Sessions said the action should go a long way toward supporting local police and improving morale.
“The most critical factor to our success is the strength, training and morale of the Chicago Police Department and all of our law enforcement partners,” he said. “This administration is anxious to work toward this goal.”
⦁ Sally Persons contributed to this report.