CPD steps up security for 4th of July week

You may be seeing more police on the streets the next few days.

Chicago police are deploying hundreds more officers over the next five days to reduce violence during the Fourth of July holiday.

Starting at three Tuesday afternoon, Chicago police increased their bike patrols on the Magnificent Mile. It's part of a stepped-up security effort that will be in place through midnight Sunday. 

“Beginning tonight, and through the Fourth, expect to see a larger police presence throughout the city. On the lakefront, parks, CTA, and city streets,” said Supt. Eddie Johnson.

Superintendent Johnson says 1500 additional officers will be deployed for the Fourth of July holiday.

Last year, despite similar tactics, a four-day Fourth of July weekend included 101 people shot, with 15 of them dying. There were also concerns that the ShotSpotter system which helps detect shootings was confused by amateur fireworks.

“Fireworks is always a concern, in terms of ShotSpotter, so we've been in touch with them, you know we don't want to give out our playbook but we do have some plans in place to rectify that,” Supt. Johnson said.

The superintendent was asked whether officers will use tactics similar to those used on Memorial Day weekend, when large groups of rowdy young people near Chicago and State were corralled into a CTA station and put on a southbound train rather than being arrested.

“We get criticized when we make arrests, we get criticized when we don't make arrests. the fact of the matter is that as a police superintendent, and, more importantly, as a black man who grew up in this city, we don’t' want to needlessly arrest young folks. we just don’t want to do that,” Supt. Johnson said.

The superintendent stressed that everyone should feel welcome to come downtown, and if they act appropriately, they won't have any problems.

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