Illinois state troopers are teaming up with the Chicago police department in a month-long effort to cut down on street violence in some of the city’s most dangerous neighborhoods.
Nearly 40 state troopers were assigned to the department’s Fugitive Unit as part of the 30-day trial. Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Gov. Pat Quinn said the troopers would be assisting Chicago police in apprehending wanted suspects with known violent tendencies.
“They will be going after the worst of the worst, looking for people wanted on murder warrants,” a source told the Chicago Sun-Times. “The fugitives may be wanted on the South Side, but who knows where in the city they’re hiding.”
The FBI is also lending a hand. The Bureau assigned 65 agents to the streets to assist in gang suppression.
“This is a new tactic the FBI is using in fighting crime,” an FBI spokeswoman said, “by working in a concentrated area and a concentrated time on the street — although the FBI has been working hand in hand and day in and day out with the police department.”
The FBI hopes to quell gang activity by collecting intelligence and surveying street-corner drug deals. They believe tracking low level drug dealers will lead to arrests, seizure of weapons, and hopefully help track down suppliers. The suppression missions are expected to take place on Thursdays and Fridays over the next three to four weeks.
“We have to go to where the problems are and that means working the streets,” a police source said.
Brett Appelman comments
Although there have been reports that violent crime is down this year, summer is typically the season when the most crime occurs. Law enforcement refers to this period as the “summer surge,” and it certainly seems like crime has picked up over the past few weeks.
As I’ve said before, the reason for the summer surge is two-fold. The main reason is because school is out of session. Without school, there are more youth on the streets, and oftentimes this can lead to a spike in crimes of opportunity. Teens are more likely to be out late since they don’t have to be in school the next day, and this can lead to more kids being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
The second reason for the spike is the weather. The warm summer weather means more people are outside. A robber would much rather steal a purse or rob a liquor store in June than in December. The warm weather also means more people are out at the bar, the beach, or in the park for a barbeque. Oftentimes alcohol is involved, and sometimes that can escalate an a situation.
Hopefully these law enforcement officials stay safe and are successful in removing some drugs and weapons from the city streets.
Related source: Chicago Sun-Times, NBC Chicago