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McCarthy Blasts Idea of National Guard, State Police on Chicago Streets

By Josh McGhee | September 23, 2013 2:08pm
 McCarthy responded to Gov. Pat Quinn's open mind about using outside forces to deter Chicago violence. (Stock Photo)
McCarthy responded to Gov. Pat Quinn's open mind about using outside forces to deter Chicago violence. (Stock Photo)
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DNAinfo/Josh McGhee

STREETERVILLE — Police Supt. Garry McCarthy on Monday blasted the idea of reaching outside the Chicago Police Department to curb violence on the city's streets.

The idea resurfaced after Gov. Pat Quinn told CBS he would consider using state resources — such as the state police or even National Guard — to combat street violence in Chicago in the wake of last week's mass shooting in Back of the Yards. The shooting in Cornell Square Park left 13 wounded including a 3-year-old.

Speaking at a graduation ceremony for the latest group of police recruits at Navy Pier, McCarthy told reporters his department does not need the help from outside agencies, pointing to statistics showing a drop in overall crime, including murders.

"I say, 'No way, no how,'" McCarthy said. "It's not an issue of resources."

McCarthy instead reiterated his call for a three-year minimum prison sentence for those caught possessing illegal guns, saying that changing the law, and not sending in state police, is "the contribution that Springfield can make to the city of Chicago."

"If people don't go to jail for possession of a firearm, they don't learn not to carry a firearm. Carrying a firearm is the gateway crime to committing a murder," McCarthy said. "We've got more than 130 examples so far this year ... of individuals who would've been incarcerated if that law was in effect."

"We're doing good policing, we're doing smarter policing, we're getting better cooperation from the community. But without adequate penalties for gun violence, we're churning them out and they're doing it again," he said. "They're not learning not to do, they're learning that there's no sanction. Therefore they continue to do it."

McCarthy said no amount of outside influence would sway him on bringing in officers from outside his department, even if "the rest of the country" thinks it's a good idea, as one reporter suggested.

"The rest of the country is not Chicago Police Department ... The fact is the National Guard is not a policing force, they're a military force," said McCarthy. "So let's stop the hysteria and let's talk about practical steps to move forward."