The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is examining a variety of options to address Chicago’s deadly crime surge, including sending a number of its agents to the city on permanent assignments, reports USA Today. David Coulson, a Chicago ATF agent, said the agency is early in the process of developing strategies to bolster its efforts in the nation’s third-largest city. President Trump has repeatedly criticized Mayor Rahm Emanuel over Chicago’s more that 760 murders and 4,300 shooting victims last year. The city tallied 51 murders and 299 shootings in the first month of 2017, a slight increase from the bloody start to last year.
The president has made vague threats about federal intervention in Chicago. Emanuel has said he would welcome federal assistance, short of sending federal troops into the city. “It would be welcome news if the administration has indeed agreed to one of Mayor Emanuel’s requests for federal resources,” said Emanuel spokesman Adam Collins. “We remain hopeful that they will also provide added DEA and FBI agents, that they will boost the prosecution rate for federal gun crimes in Chicago, and that they will provide funding for successful violence prevention efforts.”