Monday, April 21, 2014
Chicago police have to many Animals lose to cage. U. S. Attorney orders federal agencies to take charge
The U.S Attorney's Office in Chicago announced today the creation of a specialized unit with a mission to help rein in the city's rampant violent crime. The Violent Crimes section, which began operations on April 1, is staffed by 16 prosecutors focusing solely on how federal statutes can be used to go after violence, said Randall Samborn, spokesman for U.S. Attorney Zachary Fardon. Samborn said prosecutors will use drug and gun statutes as well as extortion and money laundering laws to go after criminal crews responsible for violent acts. Picked to head the section was Assistant U.S. Attorney Ron DeWald, a former deputy chief of the office's narcotics division. DeWald is also a former Cook County prosecutor who throughout his career has worked closely with Chicago police and other law enforcement agencies, Samborn said. The move is part of a larger restructuring of the office's approximately 160 prosecutors and $34 million budget undertaken by Fardon, who took office in the fall. Other changes include the creation of a specialized securities and commodities fraud section as well as stepping up efforts to combat the growing problem of cybercrime, Samborn said. The formation of the violent crimes section-- which was spun off of the larger narcotics and gangs unit -- comes as Fardon and other law enforcement leaders have come under increasing pressure to do something about the city's seemingly intractable gang and gun culture that leads to the much of the violence. "This is putting a group of talented attorneys together and telling them that their mission is to help the city and the district tamp down violent crime...and to use all the tools and strategies at their disposal that are going accomplish that mission," Samborn said.