Office of Public Affairs | Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco Delivers Remarks Announcing New Crime Gun Intelligence Center in Chicago

Remarks as Prepared for Delivery

Good morning. It’s great to be back in Chicago and to be here with partners and colleagues from ATF, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the Chicago Police Department, and the Illinois Attorney General’s Office.

Thank you for the work you do for the people of Chicago.

I’m here today because the Department of Justice has no higher priority than keeping our communities safe. And we are all-in on reversing the rise in violent crime that started in 2020, during the pandemic.

So, in 2021, the Justice Department announced a comprehensive strategy to reduce violent crime.

A strategy rooted at the local level and built on four pillars:

  • First: focusing enforcement efforts on the most significant drivers of violent crime — especially gun crimes and repeat violent offenders;
  • Second: fostering trust and earning legitimacy in the communities we serve;
  • Third: investing in community-based prevention and intervention programs; and
  • Fourth: measuring and driving results with data — to achieve tangible and sustainable decreases in violent crime.

We’ve centered our approach on what federal law enforcement does best: acting as a force multiplier for our state and local partners — surging personnel, investing in technology, and piloting innovative and data-driven initiatives.

Core to this approach is the use of crime data: intelligence that generates leads, identifies repeat shooters, locates violent hotspots, and maximizes effective enforcement. 

And today, we’re seeing this strategy pay real dividends.

  • Gains are being made against carjacking and robbery.
  • Homicide rates are falling across the country.

And here in Chicago, homicide rates have dropped by double digits.

Where violent crime is concerned, those aren’t just statistics; they represent lives saved, families united, and communities made safer.

While we’ve made real progress, this work is far from over.

In too many places senseless gun violence is still devastating communities — like in Chicago’s Back of the Yards neighborhood, last Saturday night, when a nine-year-old girl was tragically murdered — and 10 other loved ones sustained injuries.

A family’s world — destroyed in a matter of seconds — at a confirmation party.

Every violent crime is one too many. Every innocent life lost to gun violence is one too many. And every shooter evading justice is one too many.  

That’s why today I’m pleased to be here — joined by these leaders — and to announce the expansion of Chicago’s Crime Gun Intelligence Center, or CGIC.

This newly expanded center will co-locate 13 federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies.

That’s 65 agents, officers, analysts, and prosecutors — all under one roof — working together to get shooters off the streets.

With these additions, this site is one of the top three crime gun intelligence centers in this country.

This center — and others like it — use cutting-edge technology – technology that traces firearms from crime scenes; that links ballistics evidence and connects shootings; and that identifies the gun traffickers and straw purchasers arming gang members and other violent criminals.

By combining this talent, technology, and data, law enforcement in Chicago can swiftly generate more leads — leads to identify the most prolific trigger pullers and take them off the streets — so we can push case-closure rates up and drive violent crime down.

In today’s world, we need to be intelligence led and technology driven.

We need to bring more crime gun intelligence to more law enforcement agencies, in more jurisdictions, more quickly than ever before.

So, at the Department of Justice, we are committed to bringing crime gun intelligence to law enforcement across the nation, from the smallest towns to the biggest cities.

The CGIC expansion here in Chicago was made possible by the Department’s Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA).

For the past eight years, BJA has invested more than $40 million into CGICs across the country — and many of those recipients have seen gun violence decrease in their communities.

In the coming weeks, agencies will be able to apply for the next round of grants to expand existing CGIC sites and to launch new ones.

These dollars are vital. Because these centers are helping save lives across the country.

Chicago’s CGIC expansion demonstrates how law enforcement can collaborate and can take action — and it’s a symbol of what’s to come.   

I want to thank the Chicago Police Department and Superintendent Larry Snelling, Acting U.S. Attorney Sonny Pasqual, and Attorney General Kwame Raoul — along with federal partners from Homeland Security Investigations and Secret Service — thank you for your tremendous collaboration. 

I also want to thank ATF Director Steve Dettelbach and his team. With a database of over six million pieces of ballistic evidence, ATF is now tracing more illegally deployed firearms than ever before.

The public servants you see here today — and the women and men they represent — are the very best of law enforcement.

They’ve come together at one site to deploy the best data available to protect their communities.

I’m proud to stand with them.

Thank you. And with that, I’ll pass it to Director Dettelbach.

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