CPD adding 1,300 additional officers as Chicago rings in 2023
CHICAGO - The countdown is on – out with 2022 and in with the New Year! Celebrations will take place across the city on Saturday – with locals and tourists, alike, participating in the festivities.
To prepare for large crowds, the Chicago Police Department is deploying 1,300 additional officers as the city rings in the New Year.
Chicago's biggest bash, ‘New Year on the Pier,’ is set to begin at 8 p.m. on New Year’s Eve.
"It was one of the things we wanted to do because Navy Pier is so iconic," said Jordan Murphy, who is visiting from Oklahoma.
Fireworks will light up the sky at midnight.
"We’ve developed a comprehensive security plan for events at Navy Pier and officers will be visible in all of our retail corridors," said Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown.
Those retail corridors include the Mag Mile, Fulton Market, and Clark & Halsted.
"We will also be focusing on our entertainment venues, particularly in the River North area and Motor Row, and we will be utilizing our tactical personnel as well as outside resources to assist in supporting those locations," said CPD Deputy Chief Jill Stevens
At Millennium Park, a visible police presence was already on the ground Friday evening.
The added patrols now and into the New Year are a comforting sight for many.
SUBSCRIBE TO FOX 32 ON YOUTUBE
"It feels good for me, we actually didn’t plan Navy Pier until two hours ago, so the idea that there is going to be some extra security there is a nice thought because it’s something we don’t have to worry about," said Elizabeth Johnson, who is visiting from Oklahoma with Murphy.
To encourage partygoers to celebrate responsibly, the CTA will be providing free rides starting at 10 p.m. on New Year’s Eve until 4 a.m. on New Year’s Day.
Along with stepped-up police patrols on the CTA, local activist group Violence Interrupters, Inc. is taking it upon themselves to increase safety, specifically on the Red Line between the South Side and the Loop from 6-9 p.m. Saturday.
"We plan to volunteer to keep people safe. The last time we boarded the trains, one guy gave me a butcher knife, another guy gave me a switchblade, so we talk several people down from hurting people on the trains," said Tio Hardiman, executive director and founder of Violence Interrupters, Inc. "We would like to be part of the solution here with bringing peace to the CTA train systems. It’s about all of us and together we can win in Chicago if we just unify.
Supt. David Brown, on Friday, also issued this warning to residents: "I also want to emphasize that celebratory gunfire is illegal and very dangerous. Bullets that go up must come down and they come down at a speed and velocity that can kill."
In addition to high-traffic areas, CPD is increasing patrols in neighborhoods across the city this weekend.
The Chicago Police Department is working with the Office of Emergency Management (OEMC) and the Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP) to ensure that revelers can enjoy New Year’s Eve celebrations safely.
"We’ve met with many of our hotels and businesses in the downtown area and across the city in other neighborhoods," said Brown. "We’re ready for New Year’s Eve and all the celebrations taking place across the city."