What will it take for the brutal reality of violence to hit home for the elected officials of Chicago and Cook County to take additional action above and beyond existing measures?
More than 900 homicides were committed in Cook County in 2016 with 762 in the city of Chicago alone, which means Chicago had more people killed last year than New York City and Los Angeles combined.
On January 24, President Trump, once again, offered to provide additional federal resources to Chicago to combat this epidemic of violence and it is my unyielding intention to hold President Trump’s feet to the fire on his offer of federal assistance.
There are multiple areas where the federal government can provide critical assistance without the use of the National Guard. An expanded commitment to anti-violence initiatives, economic investment programs for in-need communities, and additional technical support to our overly tasked and undervalued local law enforcement agencies are just three vital areas where the federal government can provide invaluable resources.
With the rising death toll, not accepting an offer of federal help at this juncture would be an inexcusable dereliction of duty by our local elected leaders. We cannot continue to repeat the same conversation and apply the same stagnant strategies and methods to no avail. We have an obligation to put all people’s lives before partisan politics.
That is why I’m joining with fellow Commissioner Richard Boykin and several of our colleagues to ask for help on behalf of our citizens. At the February Cook County Board meetings, we will present a resolution urging Cook County government to pursue additional federal assistance. It is my hope that the Cook County Board will not pass up this opportunity to receive additional federal resources in the battle against this epidemic of violence.
Sean M. Morrison
Cook County Commissioner