Crime in Chicago with James W. Wagner, President, Chicago Crime Commission


James Wagner has had his share of experience in law enforcement. Among his accomplishments include working for the FBI as a special agent, earning the Chicago Chamber of Commerce for excellence in law enforcement in 1998, along with numerous other awards. He is respected internationally for fighting organized crime, and was a guest on TV news programs as an expert on crime. Currently, James Wagner is the president in the Chicago Crime Commission. (2:00 – 5:15)
He begins his presentation by talking about the history of crime in Chicago. (7:00) James relates events from his book entitled Friend and Foe. According to his book, the Chicago Crime Commission was formed by 30 business men who were concerned about the problems of law enforcement. There were apparently not enough courts. And thus many cases were not being prosecuted. Many of these included murder cases. The Chicago Crime Commission found itself up against Al Capone and his gang of bootleggers, and Al Capone was the first to be known as public enemy number 1.

The next part of James’s presentation focuses on more recent gangs. According to James, “organized crime evolves, organized crime is a business.” (17:57) He states that statistics show that there are around 100,000 members in Chicago gangs (12:57) today. There also seems to be a trend of gangs moving from the city to the suburbs. Another trend is gang members in the military. What happens when gang members enter the military and are trained killers because of military training? And then there are those who profit by stealing military equipment.

Lastly, James covers the subject of the drug trade. He states that 93% of all opium comes from Afghanistan. According to James, Osama Bin Laden says that it is okay because the money is used to kill infidels (28:25). One can easily see what organized crime can do to a country. James in his Q & A session answers questions concerning drugs, guns, terrorism, and the criminal justice system.

January 31, Thursday, 2008
11:30am- 1:00pm

205 North Michigan Avenue, Suite 4240
Chicago, IL, US, 60601

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