Suburban Cops Help Fight City Gun Violence

Cook County Sheriff's Department targets individuals with arrest warrants

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    NEWSLETTERS

    8/24/2014: Cook County Sheriff's Department targets individuals with arrest warrants. Tammy Leitner reports for NBC 5 Investigates. (Published Sunday, Aug 24, 2014)

    The Cook County Sheriff's Department is taking extreme measures to suppress gun violence in Chicago with a new Illinois law enforcement strategy that redeploys deputies from the suburbs to the city.

    Those deputies are going after people with arrest warrants, often for violent crimes.

    "Sometimes it's hard to get a good address. and when we get one we work it pretty hard," said Cook County Sheriff's Sgt. Emiliano Valenica.

    NBC 5 Investigates was invited to ride along with deputies as they went after people with outstanding warrants in a south Chicago neighborhood.

    "We work in six-man teams," Valenica said. "Some of them go to the front of the house and some of them go to the back of the house."

    This detail, dubbed the Cook County Sheriff's Response Initiative, utilized about 120 deputies and ran for six weeks.

    Sheriff's deputies targeted fugitives with warrants, many of them violent offenses. Each week, the deputies would go to a different Chicago neighborhood, starting on the West Side.

    The scene played out over and over. The six-person team quietly descending on a house, three in the front and three around back, to make sure their target did not slip out a back window or door.

    The task of finding people who often don't want to be found can be tedious and frustrating. But the deputies forged on, checking address after address, and following leads like a trail of bread crumbs.

    They eventually found find Maurice Jones -- who was wanted on a warrant for misdemeanor DUI -- hiding in the basement of his mother's home.

    "We knocked on a door and a brother answered," Valenica said. "He said Maurice did live here but wasn't here at this point. We had a team in the back and myself and another team in the front. The team in the rear found him hiding in the basement."

    This warrant was not for a violent offense, but NBC 5 Investigates discovered Jones has a record for offenses including burglary, theft, assault and possession.

    "I wasn't ready to go to jail tonight," Jones said. "That's the truth. I wasn't ready to go to jail."

    Most of these guys aren't.