Thursday, July 17, 2008
CHICAGO — As Governor Rod Blagojevich on Wednesday signed a new law that will put in place tougher penalties for selling guns to minors, he also announced he’s got a new idea to help combat the violence that Chicago is experience: he’s talking to the Illinois State Police and the National Guard to see if they could help.
“Violent crime in the city of Chicago is out of control,” Blagojevich said at the bill signing ceremony. “I’m offering resources of the state to the city to work in a constructive way with Mayor Daley to do everything we can possibly do to help stop this violence,” said the governor.
The summer of 2008 will be remembered as especially violent. Blagojevich said there’s been a child shot nearly every day since June 26. Bringing in state troopers — even National Guard helicopters to high-crime areas — is still very much in the planning stages.
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“It might be able to free up some resources that the Chicago police uses for capital needs, to be able, to maybe to, hire more police officers, or possibly ask some to come out of retirement, to put them into these violent zones, hot zones, where, clearly, I think, part of the challenge is that gangbangers outnumber police officers five to one,” Blagojevich said.
The governor said Chicago Mayor Richard Daley hasn’t asked for help, but Blagojevich said he’ll call the mayor once he has some concrete suggestions about what help he can provide. He didn’t have many specifics, but he said it’s more likely that state police will be brought in than the National Guard.