Exclusive look inside expanded Chicago Crime Gun Intelligence Center

ByChristian Piekos, Chuck Goudie, and Barb Markoff, Christine Tressel and Tom Jones WLS logo
Thursday, April 18, 2024
Chicago expands Crime Gun Intelligence Center's technology
A new Chicago intelligence center maps out the firearm heat zones in the city; where guns were used; people were wounded or killed and ballistic evidence left behind-that is analyz

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Law enforcement leaders announced a new initiative to curb gun violence in Chicago on Wednesday called the Crime Gun Intelligence Center or CGIC.

ABC7 was given an exclusive look into how the center works. CGIC will weave together federal, state and local law enforcement to investigate and prevent gun violence.

Cutting-edge technology is fed into a national database to help develop and pursue leads.

The CGIC will also use an interconnected ballistics network to help law enforcement connect gun crimes using markings on gun shell casings.

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The officers working at the CGIC map out firearm heat zones in the city, where guns are used, where people were wounded or killed, and where ballistic evidence was left behind, the same ballistic evidence they analyze."

Deputy U.S. Attorney General Lisa Monaco was joined by the director of the Chicago Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, CPD Superintendent Larry Snelling, Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul and others to highlight CGIC's mission.

The ATF director called Crime Gun Intelligence Center a game-changer for Chicago in an effort to make the city safer.

The ABC7 I-Team met privately with the Steven Dettelback, the director of the ATF, about Chicago's recent surge of criminals with automatic weapons.

"The sound of machine gunfire fully automatic weapons, is returning to American streets like the sound of jackhammers. It is absolutely unacceptable," he said. "Now because people are misusing technology illegally, 3D printing things, smuggling them in from abroad, and sticking these little devices into otherwise legal semi-automatic weapons and turning them into fully automatic weapons. You're right, we're dealing with this increased threat."

This consortium aims to trace, track and interrupt the flow of automatic weapons and all illicit guns. The mass shooting in Back of the Yards this past weekend is just one example.

"Right away, we had folks here who are out, working with CPD collecting that evidence making sure we get it entered right away and see if we can obtain a DNA sample from that it is to try to identify suspects," said Christopher Amon, special agent in charge for ATF-Chicago.

"The level of gun violence here is unacceptable. Are we slightly down in shootings? Yes. Are we down in homicides? Yes, but you can't tell that to someone who's been a victim of a shooting or someone who has lost a family member to gun violence," said Snelling.

And that pervasive feeling that the violence is worse in Chicago, is it true? Or is it just because we live here?

"Well, it's better than it was before. Right? in Chicago. The numbers have come down significantly. But I understand right that people and I don't accept any level of firearms violence and killing people, right none of us should," Dettelback said.

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