Chicago police plan to increase foot patrols in high-traffic shopping corridors for the holidays

Given the weather, it might not feel like the holiday season is around the corner, but it is fast-approaching. 

Thursday marks two weeks until Thanksgiving, and Chicago police are already preparing to combat retail theft during the holiday shopping season.  

Increased foot patrols on the ground are expected — specifically in high-traffic shopping corridors.

"We’ve learned and advanced over the last several years," said Commander Don Jerome of the Chicago Police Department’s 9th District.

Business liaison officers with CPD spent Thursday afternoon going door-to-door in Chinatown passing out flyers, and reminding business owners how they can keep their stores, customers and employees safe heading into the holiday season.

It was a welcome sight for business owners like Jimmy Lee who owns AM Center Home Supply.

"For the past three years we’ve been experiencing difficulties for the public safety in our area. I’m glad to see today, the city has a solution, a plan to help improve the safeties," said Lee.

CPD is urging business owners to attend neighborhood beat meetings and keep an open line of communication with the department if they experience retail theft or other threats to their businesses.


"Our safety is our responsibility. Business liaison officers will work to collaborate and provide information so local businesses can operate safely and customers can experience and shop throughout this city without worrying. It is central that we maintain communication as the holiday season returns to normal. We're going to see increased traffic along our corridors. We want to ensure all businesses feel safe and are safe for their customers," said Glen Brooks, CPD Director of Community Policing.

Business owners are also encouraged to double-check that all windows and doors are locked overnight, and to ensure that lights and surveillance cameras are working properly.

Incidents of retail theft rose dramatically in November and December of 2021, compared to 2020, including a number of smash-and-grabs in the city and the suburbs. In November and December of 2020, there were 886 incidents of retail theft reported in the city, while during those same months in 2021, there were 1,224 incidents of retail theft reported.

But on the Mag Mile Thursday night, shoppers said they’re feeling confident heading into the holidays – and for many, the visible police presence is comforting.

"I feel comfortable, honestly I normally do most of my shopping online to begin with," said Laura Peabody-Harrington.

"We just saw that up at the 900 Michigan mall, there were probably 8 or 9 police officers in that mall when we got there," said Kim Ramsey.

"I feel pretty safe, you can pretty much see there’s cops everywhere, they’re on every single corner," said Stefanie Guerrero.