Just months after taking to Twitter to say he would send in “the Feds” to help reduce Chicago’s murder rate, President Trump’s administration has sent in agents to combat the ongoing violence.
Authorities confirmed Thursday to The Chicago Sun-Times about 20 additional agents with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives have been sent to the city.
Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions appeared to confirm Friday that the federal government is sending help, while decrying the crime epidemic on the city’s streets.
“Crime and killings in Chicago have reached such epidemic proportions that I am sending in Federal help. 1714 shootings in Chicago this year!” Trump tweeted.
Sessions also told “Fox & Friends” that his department is assisting.
“We’ll have an impact in reducing shootings in Chicago,” he said, while saying police there are “demoralized” and city policies are not working.
“Murders are way, way too high,” he said.
Shortly after his inauguration, Trump tweeted “If Chicago doesn’t fix the horrible “carnage” going on, 228 shootings in 2017 with 42 killings (up 24% from 2016), I will send in the Feds!”
The new set of agents will work with counterparts from the Chicago Police Department and Illinois State Police on a strike force to solve shootings and arrest gun traffickers, according to the Sun-Times.
Included in the strike force are prosecutors from the U.S. attorney’s office and Cook County state’s attorney’s office, the Sun-Times reports, who will decided whether suspects in gun crime should be charged in state of federal court
“The goal is the prosecute as many of these guys as possible federally where they will serve longer prison terms,” Anthony Riccio, head of the Chicago Police Department’s organized crime unit, told the newspaper.
Trump has previously voiced concern about violence in Chicago. Earlier in January, he posted, “If Mayor can’t do it he must ask for Federal help!”