Thousands come to Chicago for New Year's Eve celebrations

Downtown Chicago drew thousands of people Saturday night for New Year’s Eve celebrations from Navy Pier’s fireworks to the second annual Chi-Town Rising event.

Many streets were blocked off in the area near Michigan Avenue and the Chicago River and police set up metal fencing, jersey wall and salt trucks as precautionary measures.

“It's a little overwhelming, but I’m glad it's here, I do feel safe,” said Monica Alvarado, who celebrated downtown with her husband.

Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson says there are no credible threats to the city, but just in case they are ready.

“Strategically we've got about 1,000 more officers out there, some covert officers, plainclothes officers,” said Johnson at a Saturday afternoon press conference.

“Of course it makes somebody nervous, but it makes one conscious of what is really possible and just appreciate that somebody has taken the effort to protect the people,” said Moses Kahmis.

The focus for police on New Year’s Eve isn't just downtown, but all across the city after a particularly violent year and more than 750 homicides.

“We also have saturation and gang teams within the districts across the city and they will be focusing on the violence within the districts,” said Chicago Police First Deputy Kevin Navarro. 

Johnson is looking ahead to 2017 and is promising big plans for the New Year. 
“We will unveil a new strategic plan for going into the year a crime fighting strategy,” Johnson said. “It’s going to be a little different than what you are all accustomed.”
 

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