CHICAGO (CBS) — A Cook County commissioner has asked Sheriff’s police to give a hand to Chicago cops patrolling high-crime areas on the city’s West Side.

Cook County Sheriff’s police usually patrol unincorporated areas of the county, or – in some cases – regions with inadequate police departments, such as cash-strapped Ford Heights.

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However, Cook County Commissioner Richard Boykin (D-Oak Park) has written a letter to Mayor Rahm Emanuel, asking him to allow the Sheriff’s Department deploy additional officers on the streets of the Austin neighborhood.

“I want to do everything that we can to ensure that, as the weather warms, that we don’t have a situation where we got – you know, where we’re bringing in body bags, because we have so many people who are getting shot and killed,” Boykin said.

A spokesman for Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart said the department’s police already work with Chicago cops on the West Side, and will continue to do so, but those assignments are often in special operations and undercover work.

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Boykin wants a more long-term arrangement.

“While it may seem like a radical idea to have the Sheriff’s police come in and patrol alongside the Chicago Police Department, it is not a radical idea. In fact, it’s something that the sheriff has done in the past,” Boykin said.

Boykin said Dart has the authority to initiate patrols of Chicago’s streets without permission from Emanuel, but he’d prefer to have the two men working together on this.

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“Obviously, I think it’s important that the mayor work collaboratively with him, and make sure that everybody’s on the same page,” he said.