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Monday, April 26, 2010

National Guard to Chicago

We have a war zone in the city and it's time for drastic action say two state lawmakers.

Two state representatives called on Gov. Pat Quinn Sunday to deploy the Illinois National Guard to safeguard Chicago's streets.

Chicago Democrats John Fritchey and LaShawn Ford said they want Quinn, Mayor Richard Daley and Chicago Police Supt. Jody Weis to allow guardsmen to patrol streets and help quell violence. Weis said he did not support the idea because the military and police operate under different rules.

"Is this a drastic call to action? Of course it is," Fritchey said. "Is it warranted when we are losing residents to gun violence at such an alarming rate? Without question. We are not talking about rolling tanks down the street or having armed guards on each corner."

What he envisions, Fritchey said, is a "heightened presence on the streets," particularly on the roughly 9 percent of city blocks where most of the city's violent crimes occur.

This is not the first time such an action has been proposed. Every so often violence really spins out of control in the worst areas of the city. Someone compares Chicago to a war zone and asks for the national guard. Of course, Chicago isn't really a war zone. It only feels that way in areas like Englewood, Austin and Lawndale. So, actually putting the National Guard into the city usually goes nowhere. That's likely where this proposal will go.

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