Chicago, Illinois, And Their Gang Problem

While there’s no shortage of Chicagoland politicians these days denouncing what they see as a gun problem here, the truth is, Chicago- and Illinois for that matter- has a major gang problem.

I blogged back on March 19:

Consider the following from the website of Chicago Crime Commission, an independent, non-partisan, civic watchdog organization of business leaders dedicated to educating the public about the dangers of organized criminal activity, especially organized crime and street gangs. Talking about their recent publication, The Gang Book 2012, a comprehensive compilation of data and information concerning street gangs in the Chicagoland area, the Commission said:

There are an estimated 70 to 100 gangs in the Chicago metropolitan area with a membership of between 68,000 to over 150,000.

“Over 150,000”

Back on March 2, 2011, I blogged about DEA and local law enforcement estimates of there being over 100,000 gang members and 75 to 100 street gangs in the Chicago metropolitan area.

Like I said in the intro of this post- gang violence is not just a Chicago-area problem. U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL) pointed out in a phone interview with the Chicago Sun-Times that appeared on their website on March 15, 2013:

Illinois is number one per capita in gang membership for population. We have more gang members in our state, it is a long-term economic threat to our future.

Apparently, Chicago now has a higher rate of gang membership per capita than Los Angeles. The state of Illinois has a higher rate of gang membership (8-11 gang members per 1,000 population) than California (5-7 gang members per 1,000 population).

But getting back to the Illinois senator. Earlier this week, a press release from his office noted:

In July, Senator Kirk‘s initiative to curb gang violence was approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee as part of the Commerce, Justice and Science (CJS) Appropriations bill.

If enacted, the legislation would provide $19.5 million for the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and its law enforcement agencies with directives to locate, arrest, prosecute and convict members of “Gangs of National Significance.”

As part of that effort, $7.52 million in new funding would be directed toward the U.S. Marshals Service to operate anti-gang investigate units to increase law enforcement’s ability to identify, locate and arrest violent gang fugitives, and increase the Marshals Services’ anti-gang training and operations. The U.S. Marshals Service Great Lakes Regional Fugitive Task Force is based in Illinois, with a variety of local law enforcement agencies participating. The DuPage County Sheriff currently has two deputies detailed to the task force.

An additional $12 million would be provided to the Violent Gang and Gun Crime Reduction Grant Program, which is also known as Project Safe Neighborhoods. This effort would more than double the current funding for the anti-gang effort spearheaded by local United States Attorneys…

The legislation would also direct $100 million in additional funding to the ATF, so that the agency can employ 160 more agents and enhance enforcement of firearms laws.

Federal funds to fight the gang problem? I can’t see too many people having a beef with that.

But regarding the ATF, the August 19 press release also said:

U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) today called on the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to appoint a Chicago-based anti-gang coordinator for Illinois.

“A Chicago-based anti-gang coordinator for Illinois”

Hmm. Reading the popular Chicago police blog Second City Cop yesterday, I get the impression rank-and-file Chicago Police Department officers might not be so hot on adding another chief to the mix as things stand right now. SCC wrote:

And his push for “federal….coordinator(s)” reeks of touchy-feely left-wing nonsense solutions.

What’s that old saying?

“Too many chiefs, and not enough Indians”

I wonder if that isn’t the situation here with the CPD and their lingering manpower shortage.

You can read the entire press release from Senator Kirk’s office here.

By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
Survival And Prosperity (


SCC. “Senator Kirk is So Street!” Second City Cop. 20 Aug. 2013. ( 21 Aug 2013.

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Thursday, August 22nd, 2013 Crime, Firearms, Government, Main Street, Public Safety, Self-Defense

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Survival And Prosperity
Christopher E. Hill, Editor
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