CHICAGO (AP) - Chicago police and federal agents are collaborating in an initiative to stem the flow of illegal guns in the city as part of efforts to curb rampant violence.
"This is a man who said his first duty is the safety and security of all Americans".
The decision is the Trump administration's solution to dealing with the city's "crime and killings", which, according to Trump, "have reached such epidemic proportions". "He is here to help people". The number of murders - 320 so far in 2017, compared with 322 at this point a year ago - has hardly changed.
In 2016, the number of murders in Chicago exceeded 760, a jump of almost 60 percent, and was more than NY and Los Angeles combined.
Chicago Police officials say the strike force will be a specialized team of city cops, federal agents and IL state troopers who will work exclusively on stemming the flow of illegally possessed guns and targeting repeat gun offenders.
On Thursday, authorities confirmed that around 20 additional Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents had been dispatched to the city. The group became operational on June 1, Sessions said.
Superintendent Eddie Johnson said in a statement Thursday night that "we are foundationally changing the way we fight crime in Chicago".
But violence in the city has remained higher throughout 2017 than it was in years past, and there have been about as many people killed in shootings this year as in 2016.
The task force will work with the Chicago police department's Organized Crime Bureau and the ATF's Chicago field office.
"The most critical factor to our success is the strength, training, and morale of the Chicago Police Department and all of our law enforcement partners". The Chicago Sun-Times reports 20 additional ATF agents have been sent to Chicago.
In response to questions about Ferguson's comments, Emanuel told reporters on Wednesday that the Justice Department has "walked away" from doing consent decrees, and so the city has sought a different strategy.