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Chicago police, federal agents and prosecutors are launching a new initiative Friday to stem the flow of illegal firearms in the city as part of efforts to curb rampant gun violence that President Donald Trump says is at "epidemic proportions".

The tweet came ahead of a press conference announcing a new "Strike Force" - a collaboration between the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives bureau and the Chicago Police Department.

The group will join the Chicago Police Department and Illinois State Police on a strike force whose goal is to use ballistics technology to crack down on gun traffickers, as well as to get illegal guns and repeat shooters off the streets, per the AP.

The team will include an additional 20 ATF agents, who arrived in early June, according to a city official, as well as Chicago police officers, IL state troopers, intelligence analysts and state and federal prosecutors.

The President threatened to send in help early in his administration after months of campaigning against crime in Chicago and other major cities.

Trump has tweeted about Chicago in the past, in January he said, "If Chicago doesn't fix the terrible "carnage" going on, 228 shootings in 2017 with 42 killings (up 24% from 2016), I will send in the Feds!". Collins, the spokesperson for Mayor Emanuel, said the progress Chicago Police have made this year "happened without any of the new resources from the federal government we requested".

According to the Chicago Police Department, however, the number of shootings in 2017 so far is down compared to past year.

"We are foundationally changing the way we fight crime in Chicago", Chicago police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said in a statement on Friday.

DNAinfo has tracked 1,373 shooting in Chicago as of Friday, and 332 murders.

A law enforcement official told CNN Friday that the eight Federal Bureau of Investigation employees have left the city. There were 1,935 shooting victims in the city during the same period previous year. In his Friday morning tweet, the president asserted that 1,714 people have been shot in Chicago this year. "They need to not be a sanctuary city, they need to be protecting the people of Chicago from violent criminals".


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