Marine To Lead Tougher, Better Quick-Strike CPD Unit

Tuesday, Oct 7, 2008  |  Updated 7:52 PM CDT
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Marine To Lead Tougher, Better Quick-Strike CPD Unit

The Chicago police are unveiling a new quick-strike force that will replace a more controversial, and now disbanded, unit.

Chicago police on Tuesday announced plans to create a better, tougher and less controversial new quick strike unit.

The unit is being formed by Lt. James Roussell, a Marine reservist who has spent time in Iraq leading urban street fights against insurgents, NBC5's Dick Johnson reported. Chicago Police Superintendent Jody Weis wants the strike force operational with 115 officers by the end of this month.

The unit replaces the scandal plagued -- and disbanded -- Special Operations Section after the indictment of seven officers, including Jerome Finnigan, the alleged ringleader who was accused of robbing and even kidnapping under the guise of police work.

In creating the new unit, Weis must face conflicting challenges, Johnson reported. He pledged to give the unit "broad discretion to operate," while at the same time, the U.S. Attorney is examining whether internal tolerance for behavior that might cross the line is what allowed the rogue officers to continue operating and get into trouble.

Police officials claimed an elite, quick-strike force could be responsible for as much as a 25 percent drop in the murder rate.

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