CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago Police Supt. David Brown had a strong message Monday – “We are coming for you.”
The message was directed at gun traffickers and straw purchasers who are bringing illegal guns to the city. As CBS 2’s Jackie Kostek reported, there is a new investigations team that aims to carry out Brown’s message.READ MORE: 3 People Shot In North Austin
Brown said the new gun investigations team has a very clear mission – to cut off the pipeline of illegal guns into our city, so as to recover the guns before they ever make it onto the streets.
“Every gun recovery is a potential deadly-force encounter, and every gun recovery is potential saved life,” Brown said.
Brown said the Chicago Police Department recovered 113 guns over the weekend and more than 6,600 so far this year. But those recoveries haven’t translated to less gun violence.
“We lacked a mechanism to intercept the guns prior to them hitting the streets,” said Chicago Police Deputy director of Prosecutorial Strategies Elena Gottreich.
Gottreich, a former Assistant Cook County State’s Attorney, said the CPD’s new gun investigations team will be made up of 50 Chicago Police officers; agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; task force officers, and the CPD firearms investigations team.
The team will work with the State’s Attorney’s office and the U.S. Attorney’s office to bring state and local charges against gun traffickers.
“The people that are actually providing these guns to the people that are then using them on the street to shoot and kill other people,” Gottreich said.READ MORE: Lollapalooza Now Requiring Masks In Tents And Indoors For All Attendees
Gottreich says those involved with this team, and district officers, will be trained by the ATF – with the aim of questioning every gun offender.
“The person who has a felony background, a violent background – the person that’s arrested again with a gun, which is obviously the one we want to focus on to prevent the next shooting,” Supt. Brown said.
The goal, Brown said, is to get to the third parties – the people who are buying guns for violent people.
“Whoever these third parties are, we’re coming for you to charge you,” Brown said.
Brown is hoping the community can help – setting up a 24-hour tip line that will be staffed by members of the gun investigations team. There is also a website at CPDTIP.com.
A $1 million fund exists to reward tipsters, who can remain anonymous.
“Someone knows who’s being paid as a third party to purchase guns for a violent person in this city,” Brown said.
Supt. Brown was just at the White House in Washington last week with other big-city leaders to talk with President Joe Biden about a federal anti-crime plan. Brown said the new team is not trying to replace anything the ATF is doing, but rather looking to complement their work and work together.MORE NEWS: Sprinkler System Floods Skokie Apartment Building While Dousing A Fire
He said everyone shares the goal of making our city and country safer.