CHICAGO -- Two lawmakers who believe violence has become so rampant in Chicago that the Illinois National Guard must be called in to help made a public plea to Gov. Pat Quinn on Sunday to deploy troops.

A recent surge in violent crime, including a night last week that saw seven people killed and 18 wounded -- mostly by gunfire -- prompted the request from Chicago Democratic Reps. John Fritchey and LaShawn Ford. They were joined by Willie Williams, whose son was shot and killed in 2006.

Chicago has had 113 homicide victims so far this year, Fritchey said.

"As we speak, National Guard members are working side-by-side with our troops to fight a war halfway around the world," he said during a news conference in downtown Chicago. "The unfortunate reality is that we have another war that is just as deadly that is taking place right in our backyard."

Fritchey said later that the proposal wasn't a "no confidence" vote toward police.

"I think the police have done a commendable job in fighting this surge in violence, but I also think they could use some well-trained help," he said. "The reality is that (police) department resources are stretched thin."

A message left for Quinn wasn't returned Sunday.

Chicago Police Supt. Jody Weis said he didn't think the National Guard was the best answer, noting that police focus on civilian law enforcement.

"I appreciate their frustration and their willingness to help," he said after Fritchey and Ford's news conference. "But I am simply not sure the National Guard is the answer to our problems -- at least in terms of mass deployment. I'm frankly not sure what their mission would be."

Weis said most of the violent crime has been focused in areas that represent only 9 percent of the city. Last week, he said the department was improving its gang intelligence, developing new computer programs and creating a mobile strike force of about 100 officers to try to quell the violence, which has been largely confined to the city's south and west sides.

Fritchey said guard members have been trained in civil law enforcement as part of their nation-building assignments in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Deploying the guard also would make economic sense, considering the near-crisis in state finances, he said.

"We don't have the dollars to hire additional officers, but in the National Guard we have men and women on hand who are trained to deal with these situations," he said.

Weis questioned how much training military personnel get in civilian law enforcement.

"I spent six years in the Army, and I never got any course on how or why to obtain a search warrant," Weis said. "That simply isn't part of the military mission, but it's something our officers have to deal with every day."

But he said he could he see a possible limited role for the National Guard in specialized fields, such as intelligence analysis and helicopter support.

In July 2008, after a similar surge in street crime, then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich suggested using the National Guard, but quickly backtracked, suggesting instead that bringing in Illinois State Police could help the Chicago's officers. Mayor Richard M. Daley and other city officials rejected the idea as poorly conceived, particularly in light of the state's fiscal difficulties.

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I'm really glad you posted this, Cholly!  I've been trying to get to it for two days now!  Unfortunately, I've been busier than the proverbial "one-legged man" as of late .. which is severely cutting into my "soapbox" time! 

I'll have to come back to this a little later on .... but ... my 'quick thoughts' on this are:

1)  Why isn't there all the fervor over the issue of "race" and "racial profiling" going on about this as there is about the illegal immigration issue?  (Because surely Blacks and Hispanics would be 'targeted' for such a crackdown, no??) 

I've heard nothing about that ... but again, maybe it's been said and I've just missed it??

And secondly ... (as I am with the decision to address the illegal immigration issue) ... I'm wit this!    I hope they do it!!  It may seem a little harsh, but, IMO, drastic times call for drastic measures.  The killing and gang wars of Chicago's children - our children -  needs to be brought to an abrupt and effective stop!  If the National Guard can make that happen ... let's do the damn thang!

As much as I want to agree with this,  we all should know by now that we cannot trust that everything we are being told is the only and true intentions when it comes to government intervening on our behalf; remember how the war on drugs turned out?  The War on Drugs turned out to be a war on African Americans/other minorities with the covert intentions of filling the then yet to be built Prison Industrial Complex that would crop up all over the country where jobs and industry had left predominately white towns.  Even though the prisons were predominately Black/Brown, no or few prisons were built in or near predominately Black/Brown cities/areas to provide employment to the residents of the very cities/areas that the prison inmate populations had destroyed with their illicit and/or criminal activities.  Now Chicago wants to call out the National Guard even, which would or may help get some criminals off the streets, but do nothing in the area of prevention, African American community restoration and development, police attitudes towards protecting and serving African American communities.

Before calling out the National Guard,

what has Chicago and other cities across the nation did concerning so many young people, children and teenagers roaming the streets day and night unattended/accompanied/supervised by their parents or other responsible adults?

What has been done to provide free and/or affordable afterschool care and activities for the cities' youth/children?

Why has there not been a curfew enacted to stop unsupervised children and teenagers from roaming the streets any time of day or night?

Why do adults that are initially responsible for the first line of delinquency in youth still get a free pass for their involvement in corrupting, and aiding and abetting (the delinquency) of minors in this country?

Why are official not just as concerned with the child-abusing, child molesting adults that often are initially responsible for a lot of young people turning to the streets in the first place? --- For example, Will these National Guard troops also be responsible for protecting our children from child molesters, child rapist, kidnappers and child murderers?

Are the city of Chicago and other cities across the country willing to extend the opening hours of public schools in order for young people and children to have a place to be after school to play, be supervised, for extra-curricular activities and help with homework?

In other words, bringing in the National Guard will only be another band-aid on a cancer sore; history has shown us that the war on drugs approach to crime is equivalent to continuously trying to get rid of the flood waters by dipping out a bucket full at a time, while completely ignoring the fact that the hole in the dam has to be sealed up first, before this approach would ever do any good.  The National Guard would only serve to further fill up the Prison Industrial Complex while the problems ailing the community continue, because for every young person that goes to prison for such crimes/behavior, there are 3-5 waiting to take their place in the streets.

Why do adults that are initially responsible for the first line of delinquency in youth still get a free pass for their involvement in corrupting, and aiding and abetting (the delinquency) of minors in this country?

Why do they get a free pass? Good question. As long as Negroes opt for a culture of excuse making, victimization and entitlement, the black communities in Chicago will continue to spiral into a vortex of mass intimidation, senseless killings and street violence.  They need to organize as a determined collective and take control of their homes, schools and neighborhoods vice looking to others to control their own children.  The only people who can stem or control the tsunami of violence is Negroes themselves. It’s their children who are roaming the streets unsupervised and out of control…..

I think those are ALL very good ideas and questions, Sunnubian.  But, I would think that the answers to most if not all of them would be "nothing", "no", and "none"! 

Those things are not happening in the city of Chicago.  And I doubt very seriously that they're in any kind of financial position to make things like that happen any time soon. They're just trying to 'keep the lights on' in places like that. 

I have read about many community and individual efforts and organizations working to improve the lives of the underprivileged - especially children - but they're probably helping as many as they can with the limited resources they have available.  If they could help more, I'm sure they would.

But you're talking about a kind of wholesale cultural change and transformation in thinking, behaving and living.  It could take a generation to save that many people from themselves. 

Our kids are killing each other in Chicago.  Right now.  There have been over 100 homicides in the city this year alone .. which is less than four months old so far.  And those are just the deaths ... many more have been and continued to be injured by gunshots.

Now, I think herding up those (mostly troubled youth) that are doing all this shooting and murdering and putting them into some kind of rehabilitation or treatment facility (other than prison) would be my optimal choice.  I figure with a little love, concern and encouragement (which is all most kids need to help them succeed, anyway!) many of those youngsters could be "saved" and have their lives turned around. Especially those who have not yet murdered or injured anybody yet .. but are caught up in gangs and have no other way out.

But in the meantime ...for the sake of the innocent people that are getting caught in the crossfire ... little babies just months old have been shot and killed ... mothers are losing children who aren't even involved in the gangs .. ... they've been waiting years for the kind of change you're talking about to happen.  And conditions have only deteriorated ... and things are only getting worse, instead.

IMO, something immediate needs to happen.  And probably something at least relatively drastic, too!!   If this plan with the National Guard doesn't go through (and it probably won't) then all I can see is Chicago being put right back to where it started ... with "nothing", "no" and "none" for solutions.  Waiting for things to change and get better.  More and more kids killing each other and others ... everyday .. month after month.

How long should people have to suffer like that? 

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