* From the Tribune’s coverage of the US Attorney General’s visit to Chicago yesterday to announce a new “strike force”…
The strike forces — a mix of federal agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and other law enforcement agencies — will be tasked with identifying and disrupting pipelines that are responsible for bringing illegal guns onto city streets. Law enforcement officials for years have blamed lax gun laws in neighboring states like Indiana and Wisconsin for making it easier for Chicago criminals to obtain guns when they’re not allowed to own them. […]
The teams are the latest strategy in the federal government’s effort to fight gun violence, and Chicago has been a focal point of that fight.
Last year, under the Trump administration, Chicago and other cities received a surge of federal agents to fight violence as part of Operation Legend, named in honor of 4-year-old LeGend Taliferro, who was shot and killed in Kansas City, Missouri. In Chicago, the operation involved a few hundred federal agents from the ATF, Drug Enforcement Administration, Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Marshals Service.
Chicago police and other big-city police departments routinely work with federal law enforcement on criminal investigations. Such partnerships over the years have included Project Exile, aimed at shifting more gun prosecutions to federal court for tougher penalties, and Project Safe Neighborhoods, designed to better coordinate federal resources and local intelligence on crime.
The difference this time, however, is the federal government is providing grant money for violence prevention and violence interruption, on top of the state’s significant appropriation.