Chicago officials unveil comprehensive safety plan for summer as Memorial Day Weekend begins

City of Chicago leaders came together Friday afternoon to detail their safety plan for summer as Memorial Day Weekend begins.

Chicago Police Superintendent Larry Snelling said there will be an increase in patrols downtown and at local beaches.

They will be using officers’ overtime and canceling some days off, but doing so within reason.

"We can't just blindly cancel days off and expect people to show up to work and work the way we would like to see them work," said Snelling.

The city is also offering hundreds of jobs and activities for kids this summer.

"Children just want to have a place where they can play, but we also want places where they can interact with one another. But, we've also heard that people want jobs and opportunities," said Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson.

They are trying to avoid scenes like these so-called teen trends, which have played out when the weather warms up in the past few years. 

The superintendent had these words for parents and guardians this afternoon.

"I also want to speak directly to the parents. Please, know where your children are. They're out of school for the summer and they should have fun, but they need to do so safely and responsibly. The reason that this is important is because we know violence plagues our street. If we're protecting our children, if we know where they are, we keep them safe," said Snelling. 

The safety plan also includes the following, according to city leaders: 

Major Investment in Anti-Violence and Community Support Programs:

  • $100 Million Allocated: The FY24 budget channels substantial funding towards anti-violence programming, restorative justice, re-entry services, and prevention strategies for domestic and gender-based violence.
  • Community Safety Coordination Center (CSCC): This pivotal entity will spearhead the implementation of various initiatives, ensuring a coordinated and effective approach.

Creation of the Department of Re-entry:

  • Dedicated Programmatic Funding: For the first time, the newly established Department of Re-entry receives dedicated funding, demonstrating the city's commitment to supporting individuals reintegrating into society and curbing recidivism.

Expansion within the Chicago Police Department (CPD):

  • Nearly 400 New Civilian Positions: The FY24 budget introduces additional civilian roles within the CPD, along with 200 promotional opportunities within the Bureau of Detectives, aimed at enhancing clearance rates without increasing overall headcount.

Launch of the People's Plan for Community Safety:

  • People- and Place-Based Approach: This initiative prioritizes investment in historically marginalized communities, addressing both people- and place-based factors contributing to violence.

Appointment of Leaders Committed to Community-Led Violence Prevention:

  • Superintendent Snelling and Dr. Ige: Notable nominations include leaders with proven records in community-led violence prevention, reflecting the city's dedication to effective leadership.

Mental Health System Expansion:

  • Collaborative Efforts: The establishment of the Mental Health System Expansion Working Group, in collaboration with Alderman Rossana Rodriguez-Sanchez, aims to realize the vision of the Treatment Not Trauma campaign, advocating for robust public care systems and crisis response programs.

Celebrating Community Investments for Long-Term Safety:

  • $1.25 Billion Housing & Economic Development Bond: This bond will drive economic growth and housing initiatives, fostering sustainable development without increasing property taxes.
  • $1 Million Community Convener RFP: In partnership with CDPH, this funding will bolster community-based organizations in key neighborhoods, aligning with the People's Plan for Community Safety.

Rapid Response and Community Engagement:

  • CSCC-Led Initiatives: The Community Safety Coordination Center leads cross-sector incident response teams, ensuring swift coordination of city resources following high-acuity incidents.
  • Prosocial Engagement: The plan includes targeted provision and coordination of city services, along with behavioral change campaigns and collaborations with community groups.

Youth Empowerment and Engagement:

  • One Summer Chicago (OSC): DFSS, in partnership with local stakeholders, offers paid work experiences and mentoring opportunities for youth, fostering skill development and community engagement.
  • MCMF Safe Spaces: Initiatives like Kickback events and programming activations aim to provide safe and supportive environments for youth, promoting community connectedness and violence prevention.

Park District Initiatives:

  • Summer Youth Jobs: The Park District serves as a major employer of youth, offering opportunities for skill development and engagement in safe, fun activities.
  • Rollin’ Recreation: A mobile recreation program brings engaging activities to underserved communities, fostering community cohesion and reducing incidents of violence.

Collaborative Efforts Across Departments:

  • Coordinated Security Operations: Various city departments collaborate to ensure park and neighborhood safety through proactive monitoring and engagement.
  • CPS Partnerships: CPS Office of Safety and Security collaborates with the Chicago Park District to offer Safe Passage Programming and Safe Haven Out of School Time Program, enriching the summer experience for youth.

To learn more about the safety plan, follow this link to the city's website.