Chicago police to flood streets over Memorial Day weekend
CHICAGO - Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown says he plans to flood the streets with officers over the next couple weeks.
The announcement by the top cop follows a violent weekend in Chicago with large crowds downtown.
"As we approach Memorial Day, I think from a historical perspective, better to prepare for the worst than not be prepared," said Brown.
It was an unsettled weekend in Chicago, with large crowds of young people clashing with officers on North Michigan Avenue, North Halsted and in Millennium Park.
According to police, there were 47 people shot across the city and nine killed, including a juvenile.
"This weekend speaks for itself on why would you need more resources on the ground," said Brown.
At a news conference at Chicago Police headquarters, Brown confirmed he has canceled officer’s days off through at least June 7th and put them on 12-hour shifts.
The move comes as the nation marks the one-year anniversary of George Floyd‘s murder and as the city heads into a traditionally busy Memorial Day weekend.
"We don’t have any actionable intelligence they would tell us anything would happen similar to what happened last year," Brown said. "But we are preparing to have additional resources to move throughout the city in case there is some type of civil unrest."
And that has prompted some retired Chicago cops to reach out to help.
Former CPD Chief of Detectives Eugene Roy is leading a group of police retirees who have created a Facebook page to help the officers who are working grueling hours with things like groceries, picking up their kids and cutting the lawn.
Already 900 retirees have volunteered to help out.
"We’re trying to help the officers take care of the little things so they can worry about the big things," Roy said. "Thinking with a clear head, they’re well rested, they don’t have to worry about their family or their errands getting done while they’re at work."
Superintendent Brown said canceling days off and working longer hours is a tactic he hopes to be able to use sparingly this summer, focused around holiday weekends when violence tends to spike.