After countless shootings and hundreds of murders during the first half of 2017, Chicago is getting more federal aid.
Twenty additional federal agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) have been sent to the city after President Donald Trump tweeted Friday that: “Crime and killings in Chicago have reached such epidemic proportions that I am sending in Federal help.”
Local Chicago website DNAInfo says at least 332 people have been shot and killed in Chicago in this year. Last year, 751 were gunned down and more than 4,300 people were shot, according to local reports.
In the tweet, Trump said there have been “1714 shootings in Chicago this year!” According to the Tribune, that number is actually higher: at least 1,760 have been shot.
The number of murders and shootings in the city of 2.7 million has been down slightly so far this year from the same period last year, according to police.
The ATF agents work with Chicago and Illinois state police on a strike force to solve shootings and track down gun traffickers through ballistics technology, the paper said, Reuters reported.
Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said that the new task force “will significantly help our police officers stem the flow of illegal guns and create a culture of accountability for the small subset of individuals and gangs who disproportionately drive violence in our city,” the Chicago Tribune reported.
Reuters contributed to this report.