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Chicago mayor, police superintendent announce new plan to track gun offenders

The city’s GunStat initiative looks to pool the resources of city, Cook County, state and federal agencies.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Police Supt. Eddie Johnson in summer 2019.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Police Supt. Eddie Johnson
Sun-Times file photo

Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson said Thursday they are planning monthly meetings with Cook County, state and federal officials in an effort to share data to better track the city’s worst gun offenders.

“Our aim is to take a wide view of how gun cases make their way through the system, identifying gaps and closing loopholes,” said Johnson, standing beside Lightfoot at police headquarters.

Johnson described the new GunStat initiative as “putting all of our cards on the table.”

The meetings, which kicked off Thursday, are expected to include representatives from the city, the Cook County state’s attorney’s office, the Cook County sheriff’s office, the U.S. attorney’s office and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency.

“As mayor, there is no higher calling for me ... than making sure our residents experience the reality of safety,” Lightfoot said.

The initiative is less about new technology, as it is about agencies combining in a more comprehensive way what they already know about gun offenders, officials said.

“I’m certain there are going to be uncomfortable discussions, but that whole point is (that) everybody came because everybody has a vested interest in wanting to change the way things are done in Chicago,” police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said.