In an attempt to combat the violence that is plaguing Chicago, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is setting up a program called the “Chicago Crime Guns Strike Force” task force. Part of the efforts include permanently relocating about 20 more ATF agents to the city in an effort to “beef up” federal presence. The increase comes just days after President Donald Trump threatened to place the feds in Chicago if they could not control their violence problem, though the ATF did not say if that is what influenced the move this week.
On Wednesday, ATF headquarters in Washington sent out an announcement to field offices across the U.S. trying to recruit agents to permanently transfer to Chicago. Officials say it is not uncommon to request relocation of agents but normally it would be for a period of 30-60 days rather than on a permanent basis.
“ATF is exploring various options as we are committed to furthering law enforcement efforts in Chicago,” an ATF spokesperson said. “One of those options is to send additional agents to Chicago on permanent transfers. ATF is still early in the process of developing strategies and will be prepared to discuss these options further once plans are finalized.”
There were more than 4,000 shootings in Chicago in 2016, nearly 800 of those were fatal. That trend continued into 2017 where January saw close to 300 shootings.
On January 24th, President Donald Trump tweeted: “If Chicago doesn’t fix the horrible “carnage” going on, 228 shootings in 2017 with 42 killings (up 24% from 2016), I will send in the Feds!”