Should the National Guard help curb Chicago violence?

Monday, September 23, 2013

It's an idea that seems to come up whenever gun violence spikes in Chicago. Should state resources-- including National Guard troops-- be deployed in some city neighborhoods? Governor Pat Quinn says he's open to the idea, but Chicago's police superintendent says that's not a good idea.

<p. Here's what police superintendent McCarthy said about Illinois State Police and/or National Guard troops helping patrol violent Chicago neighborhoods.

"I said no way, no how," said Supt. Garry McCarthy, Chicago Police Department.

In the wake of last Thursday's Back of the Yards mass shooting, Gov. Quinn said he'd be willing to discuss using state resources to help put down Chicago gun violence.

"I'm always open for any mayor or anyone to talk to us about working in that area," said Gov. Quinn.

"You can make Illinois State Police work because they're law enforcement, they have a law enforcement mission," said Jody Weis, ABC7 security consultant.

But Weis, McCarthy's predecessor, notes that National Guard troops are not trained or sworn to be cops.

"They can't do direct police functions. They can't arrest, they can't do search and seizure, they can't do stop and frisk," said Weis.

"We not in Iraq. They might be calling it "Chiraq". We're not in Iraq," said Naphtali Dukes, Back of the Yards resident.

Naphtali Dukes said his violence-wracked neighborhood needs jobs more than it needs state cops and soldiers.

"Soldiers need to be where soldiers be at: he battlefield," said Dukes.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel would not take questions on the shootings four days ago. McCarthy gave voice to the City Hall position, that the state can help most by imposing minimum prison terms for illegal gun possession.

"If people don't go to jail for possession of a firearm, they don't learn not to carry a firearm," said Supt. McCarthy.

Chicago police also say their anti-violence efforts are working without outside help.

This year through Sunday at midnight, the department reports shootings are down 22%, murders down 20%, and overall crime citywide is down 15%.

But those numbers don't mean much in those "hotspot" neighborhoods like Back of the Yards.

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chicago violence, garry mccarthy, pat quinn, politics, charles thomas
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