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Federal agent surge planned for Chicago to counter violent crime

"Mind-boggling." "Almost unheard of." That's how one unidentified top police official is reportedly describing a planned influx of FBI agents on the streets of Chicago.

According to officials, the strategy calls for boosting the number of FBI personnel on the streets by 65. That is in addition to 100 agents that are already assigned to a special initiative to counter violent crime in parts of the city.

Word of the stepped up FBI presence comes on the heels of an announcement that Illinois State Police and the Chicago Police Department will be partnering in an initiative to conduct a sweep of wanted fugitives in the city. Many of the individuals sought are purportedly wanted on murder warrants.

All this follows word last month that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, or ATF, has increased the number of its agents in the city, too. Their reported objective is to take a bite out of gun violence.

All this activity has the earmarks of a major military campaign. And, in fact, that's the way officials are talking about things. The governor's office says the fugitive arrest effort will feature "surge teams." And police sources say the FBI maneuvers will mean more boots on the ground for gathering intelligence about suspected drug dealers in concentrated areas of the city.

One police source says the hope is that the pressure will serve to curb gang activity and generate information that could lead to a wave of arrests and the seizure of guns.

With all the news we're hearing about law enforcement, there hasn't been much said about what's happening in the offices of the state prosecutor. You can be sure, though, that officials there are gearing up for their own surge in filings of criminal charges and trials.

That raises a question for individuals who may be caught up in this storm. How will you respond to ensure the defense of your rights?

Source: Chicago Sun-Times, "FBI to hit Chicago streets to combat gangs: Sneed scoop," Michael Sneed, Aug. 13, 2014

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Darryl A. Goldberg
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