Police Can't Verify Threats, Says Weis

By Charlie Wojciechowski and Mary Ruge
|  Thursday, Jul 22, 2010  |  Updated 10:01 PM CDT
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The Chicago Police Department has not been able to verify the credibility of threatening phone calls made against police officers this week, but the threats are being taken seriously.

Speaking at a joint FBI/CPD press event Thursday morning, Chicago police Superintendent Jody Weis said officers were on the alert after telephone threats were called in to the 3rd and 6th police districts this week.

"Whenever we get a threat against any of our officers, we take it very seriously," Weis said. "We also look to determine the crediblity of that threat. We've tasked a lot of our information sources to see if they can give any credibility... unfortunately, we have not been able to do that at this time." 

Whoever phoned the departments threatened the lives of police who patrol the Chatham community on the South Side, and said gang members would target police every evening.

Officer Michael Bailey and Office Thomas Wortham, who are two of the three recent officers to be killed, were shot in the Chatham area.

At the press event, the CPD and FBI displayed more than 60 guns, including three assault rifles, that they had confiscated in a sweep of gang weapons trafficking operations on the city's Southwest side.

The weapons were sold to undercover agents and mostly came from out of state. The prices ranged from $300 to $1000. Twenty-five people have been arrested and charged for weapon and drug violations.

On hand to announce the arrests were: Patrick J. Fitzgerald, United States Attorney Northern District of Illinois; Robert D. Grant, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Office of the FBI; Jody P. Weiss, Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department; and Anita Alvarez, Cook County State’s Attorney were on hand to announce the arrests in this sweep and exhibit some of the confiscated weapons.

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