CHICAGO – The federal government will provide additional aid to Chicago’s efforts to battle gun violence. The Department of Justice will announce Thursday that it will send seven more agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to join the 45 already stationed in Chicago.
In announcing the reinforcements, Attorney General Eric Holder says that his office “will continue to do everything in its power to help the city of Chicago combat gun violence. These new agents are a sign of the federal government’s ongoing commitment to helping local leaders ensure Chicago’s streets are safe.”
The move is among measures that federal and local agencies have taken in a city known for its crime problem, highlighted by an outbreak of shootings during the July Fourth weekend. The Department of Justice points to the cross-state component of gun crime in Chicago as one reason for the federal-local partnership: Sixty percent of the guns seized in Chicago crimes originate from out of state.
The coordinated effort involves manpower; $6.6 million in Justice Department funds to address youth violence; and intelligence, with the Chicago Crime Gun Intelligence Center opening in June. The department has also partnered with grassroots organizations in Chicago to increase community-based crime prevention.