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01 July 2017, 12:36 | Nellie George
President Trump to send federal help to Chicago to curb shooting epidemic
The number of murders and shootings in the Midwestern city of 2.7 million has been down slightly so far this year from the same period last year, according to police figures.
Per twostories in the Chicago Sun-Times-which notes 1,737 people have been shot this year in Chicago, a bit more than the 1,714 Trump cited in his tweet-20 or so ATF agents will team up with about 40 ATF agents already there to combat gun violence.
Breitbart News reported that Chicago had almost 4,400 shootings and almost 800 homicides in 2016.
The president said on Twitter that he's "sending in Federal help" as crime and killings have reached "epidemic proportions".
Trump has been critical of the city's crime rates in the past, warning he would "send in the Feds!".
The president, who in January decried the high crime rate in the third-most populous USA city as "carnage", did not specify what type of help he planned to send.
Trump has yet to specify what type of federal assistance he plans to provide.
"This new strike force will significantly help our police officers stem the flow of illegal guns and create a culture of accountability for the small subset of individuals and gangs who disproportionally drive violence in our city", said Chicago Police Department Superintendent Eddie Johnson.
Meanwhile, Chicago police say crime in the city has decreased from 2016, when there were 4,331 shooting victims and 762 homicides.
A law enforcement official told CNN Friday that the eight Federal Bureau of Investigation employees have left the city. The Justice Department had previously said that more than 20 additional ATF agents were sent to Chicago, and a spokesman said the department was also considering reallocating prosecutors to the city.
It was not immediately clear whether the announcement Friday will come with additional federal agents or a reorganization of existing resources.
The agents are collaborating with the Chicago Police Department and the Illinois State Police on a strike force that will work to track down gun traffickers and solve shootings in the city with the help of ballistics technology. Chicago was not among the cities in that group, which officials said would be expanded later this year.
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