* From a Saturday AP report…
Gov. Pat Quinn said he’s open to sending Illinois National Guard troops or Illinois State Police to assist Chicago police with curbing violence if city officials want the help.
He told reporters Saturday after an unrelated event in Chicago that state police have helped in places like East St. Louis, but only when local authorities coordinate things.
Quinn said he hasn’t been approached by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel yet.
* However, Quinn never actually talked about sending in the Guard. He was asked by a reporter “Governor, have you had any conversations regarding the National Guard [and] the State Police supplementing Chicago?”
His response didn’t include anything about sending in the Guard. He talked about how he’d sent the state cops to East St. Louis and about working with local law enforcement. He was then asked a question about whether he’d talked to Mayor Rahm Emanuel about supplementing police on the streets, but the phrase “National Guard” wasn’t included in that question.
Listen for yourself…
* His spokesperson made that clear to CBS2 right away…
Quinn did not specifically veto the idea of deploying Guard members in Chicago. A press aide later told CBS 2 the governor was speaking only about the possibility of using state police to help out.
* But because of that shoddy AP report, Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy went through the roof…
Speaking at a graduation ceremony for the latest group of police recruits at Navy Pier, McCarthy told reporters his department does not need the help from outside agencies, pointing to statistics showing a drop in overall crime, including murders.
“I say, ‘No way, no how,’” McCarthy said. “It’s not an issue of resources.”
McCarthy instead reiterated his call for a three-year minimum prison sentence for those caught possessing illegal guns, saying that changing the law, and not sending in state police, is “the contribution that Springfield can make to the city of Chicago.”
“If people don’t go to jail for possession of a firearm, they don’t learn not to carry a firearm. Carrying a firearm is the gateway crime to committing a murder,” McCarthy said. “We’ve got more than 130 examples so far this year … of individuals who would’ve been incarcerated if that law was in effect.”
“We’re doing good policing, we’re doing smarter policing, we’re getting better cooperation from the community. But without adequate penalties for gun violence, we’re churning them out and they’re doing it again,” he said. “They’re not learning not to do, they’re learning that there’s no sanction. Therefore they continue to do it.”
McCarthy said no amount of outside influence would sway him on bringing in officers from outside his department, even if “the rest of the country” thinks it’s a good idea, as one reporter suggested.
“The rest of the country is not Chicago Police Department … The fact is the National Guard is not a policing force, they’re a military force,” said McCarthy. “So let’s stop the hysteria and let’s talk about practical steps to move forward.”
The Chicago media really needs to take a breath. “The rest of the country”? Please.
* And today, the AP backtracked…
A spokeswoman says Gov. Pat Quinn would be open to using Illinois State Police but not the Illinois National Guard if it comes to assisting Chicago police combat city violence.
Over the weekend Quinn was asked by reporters about the potential for deploying the Guard or state police to assist local authorities. The Chicago Democrat said state police help in East St. Louis, but that any state help would have to be through coordinated partnerships.
Spokeswoman Brooke Anderson said Monday that when it comes to Chicago’s violence, state help would not include National Guard troops. The governor is only allowed to deploy the Guard in specific situations like a terrorist threat.