October 5, 2009

Illinois Gangs Targeted

By Eric Shangraw

July 15, 2010 Updated Oct 5, 2009 at 9:14 PM CDT

Congressman Aaron Schock says a national effort is needed to target Illinois gangs.

Tomorrow, Schock and local police will publicly call for passage of the Anti–GangTask Force Act of 2009.

Lawmakers say passage of the Anti–Gang Task Force Act would authorize the U–S Attorney General to coordinate and provide resources for a national multi–jurisdictional gang task force.

The Act would make it easier for law enforcement to go after gangs that cross local, state and national boarders.

According the 2009 National Gang Threat Assessment, Illinois has more gang members per capita than any other state.

Schock will be at the Peoria County Sheriff's Office Tuesday with Sheriff Mike McCoy, Peoria Police Chief Steve Settingsgaard and Peoria Mayor Jim Ardis.

The gang assessment study they will highlight estimates there are between 500 and 25,000 gang members operating in Peoria County.

That is similar to the gang activity in Sangamon and Macon County, and some of the collar counties around Chicago.

Cook County has the highest concentration of gang activity in the state with more than 10,ooo active members.
The national report also says Hispanic gangs in the Midwest are assuming a larger role in wholesale drug distribution.

The report goes on to predics Chicago–based gangs will expand their presence in more suburban areas as a result of gang member migration from urban to suburban areas.
We'll learn more at Tuesday's press conference.

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