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Chicago police announce new Gun Investigations Team

Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown

Chicago Police Department Superintendent David O. Brown on Monday, July 19, announced the creation of a Gun Investigations Team (GIT) that will focus on stopping the illegal flow of guns into the city. Brown said the GIT will strengthen CPD’s comprehensive strategy to curb gun violence by addressing the pipeline of dangerous weapons in Chicago.

In addition to stopping illegal gun traffickers from putting weapons into the hands of violent offenders, CPD will continue to address the root causes of violence through strengthened community partnerships. This builds on the city’s summer safety plan, a whole-of-government approach aimed at curbing violence in Chicago’s most vulnerable neighborhoods.

“The Gun Investigations Team will make our communities safer by identifying and apprehending those who are driving violence in our neighborhoods,” said Superintendent Brown. “By showing these gun traffickers and gun offenders there are consequences to their actions, we can hold them accountable and prevent further violent crimes from happening.”

The news comes as gun violence continues to plague Chicago’s Black neighborhoods. Last weekend, there were 63 shootings and 11 murders in Chicago.

The Austin neighborhood on the West Side was hit the hardest with 17 shootings and three murders over a three-day period. Most of the shootings occurred during two separate mass shootings. Six people were shot, including five teenage girls, in the 5000 block of West Ohio Street late Saturday night [July 17]. All of the victims survived.

The other mass shooting in Austin came just before midnight Friday, July 16. Four men were shot in the 700 block of North Lockwood Avenue. All of the men survived the attack.

The GIT, which launched this week, consists of CPD officers, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Task Force officers and a Firearms Investigation Team. The team will conduct mid-level and upper-level investigations into illegal gun sellers and straw purchasers that are responsible for firearm trafficking in Chicago, as well as interstate investigations, tracing of all recovered firearms and investigating Firearm Owners Identification (FOID) card revocations.

These investigations will allow officers to intercept and recover guns that would otherwise end up in the hands of violent criminal offenders.

“We must work to dismantle the pipeline of illegal guns that flows directly into the hands of people willing to use them to endanger public safety,” said Chicago Police Deputy Director of Prosecutorial Strategies, Elena Gottreich. “Our new team will help stop violent offenders from accessing these guns and bolster safety, trust and peace in our communities.”

This team will also work locally with the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office and federally with the United States Attorney’s Office to secure charges against gun offenders and those trafficking guns in Chicago.

The officers assigned to the GIT, in addition to patrol officers citywide, will receive training from the ATF that will equip them with knowledge to help further gun investigations.

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