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SHERIFF LAUNCHES GANG-FIGHTING PARTNERSHIP

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Sunday, February 1, 2009 —Cook County Sheriff Thomas J. Dart will announce a new initiative aimed at combating the spread of gang violence by providing training to officers from across Illinois, helping them to identify signs of Chicago gangs and how to help stop their spread into communities.
            The training will first be offered to officers in the Quad Cities area. Dart plans to explain the program and its benefits during a press conference at 2 p.m. Monday, Feb. 2 at the Centre Station, 1200 River Drive, in downtown Moline – next to Johnny’s Italian Steak House.
            “Sharing of resources – particularly in an effort to suppress the spread of gangs – is a critically important function of any law enforcement office,” Dart said. “Gangs know no boundaries. They don’t stop at the Chicago city border, Cook County line or even the Illinois state line. They will go wherever they can find vulnerable communities and spread their membership.”
            Dart’s office spends millions of dollars each year combating gang crimes and he plans to open their training centers and tactics to officers from around the state. The Cook County Sheriff’s Department has a gang unit dedicated to working the streets, while also tracking gang activity inside the Cook County Jail – the single largest jail in the nation with around 10,000 inmates. Officers participating in this free training program will be partnered with Dart’s gang officers, while also shadowing them on assignments and investigations.
            Dart, a former state representative and assistant state’s attorney, will be joined at the press conference by several Quad City law enforcement officials and elected officials, including Rock Island County Sheriff Mike Huff, Rock Island Mayor Mark Schweibert, Davenport Mayor Bill Gluba, Davenport Chief of Police Frank Donchez and Jacob Preis of the Quad City Gang Task Force.e.

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