Today, U. S. Senator Mark Kurt called on ATF to appoint a Chicago-based anti-gang coordinator for Illinois. In July 2013 Senator Kirk put forth the initiative to curb dangerous gang violence in Illinois and across the nation. His initiative won approval in a vote of 21-9.
Senator Kurt also encourages Congress to pass legislation that will increase anti-gang efforts and provide $19.5 million for the U. S. Department of Justice and its law enforcement agencies to increase their work in their anti-gang programs.
The FY14 CJS Appropriations Bill allocates $52.3 billion in total discretionary spending, of which funds for fighting crime and reducing gang violence include:
- $7.52 million for U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) to expand its gang work;
- $12 million would be provided to the Violent Gang and Gun Crime Reduction Grant Program;
- $100 million in additional funding to the ATF;
- $100 million increase in funds for the Federal Bureau of Investigation;
- $385 million to Byrne Justice Assistance Grants Program;
- $35 million to Delinquency Prevention Grants;
- $69 million more to the Drug Enforcement Agency;
- $176 million additional funds to Community Oriented Policing Services; and
- $78 million to U.S. Attorneys.
Senator Kirk said. “Illinois leads the nation in per-capita gang members. I hope Congress quickly passes this legislation so we can increase our anti-gang efforts, with the ATF taking a leading role. As the primary law enforcement agency for attacking violent gun crimes, the ATF is a logical choice to coordinate with federal, state and local anti-gang efforts.”