Chicago Police Department Superintendent Eddie Johnson will meet with Attorney General Jeff Sessions in Washington, D.C. Thursday to ask for more federal agents and resources to help curb the city’s gun violence.
Supt. Johnson is joining a group of police officials from around the country for the 11 a.m. sit-down with the U.S. Justice Department head to discuss ways the federal government can help target violence in urban areas.
The meeting is scheduled for 11 a.m. and expected to last several hours, according to Chicago Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi.
In a news release early Thursday morning, Guglielmi said Johnson will be bringing other local officials with him to request a number of additional be sent to the city of Chicago, including:
- More federal prosecutors detailed to Chicago to focus on prosecution of felon in possession of illegal gun cases.
- More agents from ATF, DEA and FBI so we can create additional CPD task forces in active districts to interdict guns and focus enforcement on gangs and gun crime.
- Having ATF set up a NIBIN lab here in Chicago (like they have in Denver) so we can build stronger gun cases by processing evidence from shootings and tracing guns faster.
- Refocusing the federal High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Agency around targeting gun crimes and violence.
- Resources for programs to expand Mayor's mentoring, economic development and community building efforts.
Robert Cucinotta was among many Chicago residents who told NBC 5 Thursday they were in favor of additional resources being brought to the city by the government for programs that support economic development and help rebuild the community.
“I think bringing in the National Guard and a bunch of 'brown shirts' wouldn't be great, but programs to help where the sort of seed of the problem is, I think is fine,” Cucinotta said.
Another resident, Karen Rivers, told NBC 5 that she believes the change will still need to come from the people within the city of Chicago itself.
“I'm in the Austin community and all they want to do is stop the violence,” Rivers said. “And it's not just one person, it's gonna take everyone. The preachers, the teachers, the mothers, the fathers, the brothers the sisters. Everyone.
"As I was growing up here – and I'm 54 years old,” Rivers continued. “We had the park district, we had the 'Off The Street' programs. We need more. We need more to keep them busy."