Chicago Police to Get Assault Rifles

Mayor Richard M. Daley has announced an increase in firepower…

Mayor Richard M. Daley has announced an increase in firepower for Chicago police.

In the aftermath of last weekend’s violence, Police Superintendent Jody Weiss is equipping the force with M4 carbines, high-powered assault rifles.

Daley said the new guns would match the firepower of street gangs they’re up against, under a policy change in the works to stop the bloodshed on the city’s streets.

Weis’ decision to arm and train his 13,500 officers with more powerful weapons was disclosed as Daley emerged from a City Hall summit meeting with a plea to every Chicagoan who cares about children.

“I don’t want people to wait for Mayor Daley to call a meeting. I want you to call a meeting in your home, with your children and loved ones. I want you to … talk to those children next door. I want the parents on the block to say, ‘This block will be free of violence. This summer, not one child will be [killed by] gangs and drug dealers,’ ” Daley told a City Hall news conference.

Chicago Police SWAT teams are already equipped with M4 carbines, but rank-and-file officers are out-gunned. They’re only allowed to carry pistols.

Used by the U.S. Marine Corps, the M4 is an assault rifle that fires more shots in less time than a conventional handgun. The fully automatic version can fire up to 1,000 rounds a minute, although the magazines hold 20 to 30 shots.

Last week, police arrested a man suspected of using an AK-47 during a shoot-out with police just after he allegedly used the gun to kill a man at a South Side plumbing business.

Fraternal Order of Police President Mark Donahue welcomed the change, as long as the Police Department pays for the weapons and officers are properly trained and given discretion in using the M4.

New York City police officers recently started patrolling subways with similar assault weapons and bomb-sniffing dogs. In the Chicago area, some suburban police departments have carried assault weapons since the mid-1990s.

Timing and logistics of the change in firepower have not yet been ironed out.

First, the weapons must be purchased — and it’s not yet clear who will pay for them. Officers currently chose from a list of authorized handguns and pay out of their own pockets. Second, they must be trained in how to use them.

Finally, the Police Department must determine whether the new weapons would remain in squad cars or be carried by officers.

Additional information provided by Chicago Sun-Times Inc.

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  • i thought we lived in the United States not russia

  • Eric

    Even equipping the Chicago PD with better equipment has to be some kind of political trick. Interesting to see the rhetorical garbage the “honorable” Mayor is going to “sell” with this? Perhaps some speech like this: “Because of you evil gun owners and the NRA, first, we had to upgrade to AR-15’s for our officers in support of the National Guard; next in 2011, we had to institute ‘warrantless search-and-seizure’ because we need a ‘New Bill of Rights.’ Now, in 2012, we need Predator-Drones in Chicago to ‘patrol’ those neighborhoods our brave officers were afraid to go into. Of course there will be collateral damage. See what you made us do? Well, enough is enough, we are sending ‘them’ drones after you!” With the types of military policing “moves” Chicago is making (or “blowing hot air” about), it is hard to believe Chicago is an American city, but, many “Americans” remain silent, in apparent acceptance of the loss of their freedoms, paid for by the lives of millions… Perhaps we need to divide America into two nations: one which values freedom and the other for those who want to live under Daley’s “New North American Order?” Or maybe an easier route is to simply offer Chicago for sale to Canada? Oh, wait, Canadians own guns, too, but, with the help of the UN and the British, they are closer to confiscation than we are, so maybe that would work for Commissar-Mayor Dailey and his Billionaire backers? I am sure Hollywood could make some good money – and some “moral points,” too! Brave New World, Baby!!!

  • (MIKE)Rhino

    hey mayor how about letting the people use there rights and fight back when crime takes place aginst them and there family you dont even allow people to have firearms in there own house… thats the spirit….