Quinn: State troopers, yes, National Guard, no, in Chicago
September 24, 2013, By Benjamin Yount | Illinois Watchdog, SPRINGFIELD — Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn says he’s all about a “team” approach to fight crime in Chicago, but that team will not include the Illinois National Guard.
Quinn over the weekend did open the door to possibly sending the Illinois State Police into Chicago’s most violent neighborhoods.
“I’m always open for any mayor, or anyone, for working in that area (sending in State troopers),” the governor said. “But it has to be done with their full cooperation. ”
Quinn was quick to say that neither Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel no Chicago Police Superintendent Gary McCarthy has reached out for that kind of assistance.
Quinn’s office spent most of Monday refuting an assertion that the governor was thinking about deploying the Illinois National Guard.
“The National Guard was not mentioned,” Brooke Anderson, a spokeswoman for Quinn, clarified.
Anderson said the governor was open to talking about “the possibility of providing additional Illinois State Police reinforcements to help stop the violence. ” But she was adamant that the National Guard was never part of any discussions.
State lawmakers first called for the National Guard in July after a wave of shootings .
State Rep. Monique Davis, D-Chicago, asked the governor to send troops to the state’s biggest city, but Quinn never acted on Davis’ request.
That is a good thing according to U.S. Rep. Danny Davis, D-IL. Davis, who is not related to Monique Davis, said Chicago does not need soldiers patrolling its neighborhoods.
“I think if you send money for Head Start programs, if you send money to keep young people actively engaged in after school activities…that’s what you would send,” Congressman Danny Davis said.
Danny Davis, who represents some of Chicago’s tougher neighborhoods on the city’s west side, said he does not think Illinois should send in outside officers or soldiers to patrol city streets.
“I don’t know what the National Guard does if you’ve got a demented person whose values are such that they will walk up and down the street and shoot a bunch of folks,” Davis said. “What’s the National Guard going to do?”
Neither the Illinois National Guard nor the Illinois State Police returned calls for comment.
Contact Benjamin Yount at BYount@Watchdog.org and find him on Twitter @BenYount.