CHICAGO (CBS) — The head of Cook County Jail said she’ll find room for any and all fugitives picked up by teams of Chicago police officers and Illinois state troopers in the coming month, and put them in the jail’s custody.

There are about 9,700 inmates today in Cook County Jail, according to executive director Cara Smith. She said that’s historically a low figure for this time of year, despite the number of fugitives arrested in recent weeks by teams of Chicago police officers and Cook County Sheriff’s deputies.

“We’ve been working for about the last four weeks with Chicago as well, and have had hundreds of arrests, so we will have the space that is necessary to house anyone who’s arrested and placed in the jail’s custody,” she said.

Forty Illinois State Police troopers have been tasked with helping Chicago police track down wanted criminals for at least the next 30 days. The troopers will be assigned to 20 surge teams, each consisting of five Chicago Police officers and two state cops who’ll go out searching for the estimated 7,300 active fugitive warrants in the city.

Smith said it’s important to go after the fugitives.

“Certainly, as the superintendent notes, these are individuals who pose ongoing risks to communities, and every one that’s taken off the streets is an important step towards ridding these communities of violence”, she said.

Smith said these times call for collaboration, which is why different police agencies have been teaming up with Chicago police to track down and arrest wanted fugitives.

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