Two Lawmakers Declare Chicago a War Zone, Call for National Guard

Chicago Democratic Reps. John Fritchey and LaShawn Ford think only the National Guard can quell the violence.

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Chicago Democratic Reps. John Fritchey and LaShawn Ford think the violence in city has gotten to the point that only the National Guard can restore order

Chicago has had 113 homicide victims so far this year, Fritchey said.

"As we speak, National Guard members are working side-by-side with our troops to fight a war halfway around the world," he said during a news conference in downtown Chicago. "The unfortunate reality is that we have another war that is just as deadly that is taking place right in our backyard."

Fritchey said later that the proposal wasn't a "no confidence" vote toward police.

"I think the police have done a commendable job in fighting this surge in violence, but I also think they could use some well-trained help," he said. "The reality is that (police) department resources are stretched thin."

Chicago police superintendent Jody Weis isn't convinced the National Guard would be the answer

"I appreciate their frustration and their willingness to help," he said after Fritchey and Ford's news conference. "But I am simply not sure the National Guard is the answer to our problems -- at least in terms of mass deployment. I'm frankly not sure what their mission would be."

Weis said most of the violent crime has been focused in areas that represent only 9 percent of the city. Last week, he said the department was improving its gang intelligence, developing new computer programs and creating a mobile strike force of about 100 officers to try to quell the violence, which has been largely confined to the city's south and west sides.