Acknowledging that the coming weekend will be “inconvenient” for neighborhood residents, city officials said Wednesday that first responders would be out in large numbers to ensure safety during any Cubs World Series celebrations in the streets of Wrigleyville.
Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson said more than 1,000 Chicago Police officers, FBI and Homeland Security agents, Illinois State troopers and Cook County sheriff’s deputies will be out in the neighborhood “to ensure we have a safe and enjoyable weekend of baseball.”
“Security during the entire series will be very high,” he added.
Chicago Police officers also will conduct security checks within a two-block perimeter of Wrigley Field, according to Rich Guidice, first deputy director of the Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Communications.
The Cubs are scheduled to play host to the Cleveland Indians on Friday and Saturday night and, if necessary, Sunday night.
About 300,000 people — equivalent to more than 10 percent of the entire city’s population — were out in Wrigleyville last weekend celebrating the Cubs’ first World Series berth since 1945.
Ald. Tom Tunney (44th), whose ward includes Wrigleyville, said the same number of people, if not more, are expected in the area this weekend. “We’ve been down this road before,” he said.
Julian Green, a spokesman for the Cubs, told reporters the team has hired private security to work in concert with law enforcement throughout the weekend.
Last summer, the Chicago Blackhawks Stanley Cup victory brought revelers out to Wrigleyville as well.
Robert Cesario, commander of the Town Hall District, said the department has made “tweaks” to its crowd control strategy since then.
“We looked at our plan from last year and we’re using that as a foundation to build on our plan for this year,” he said. “We made a few tweaks.”
According to a memo sent to the police department by First Deputy Supt. Kevin Navarro obtained Tuesday by the Chicago Sun-Times, “All units of the Department will be in regulation field uniform and be prepared for deployment with soft body armor, helmet, baton and rain gear.”
The order will go into effect from Friday, Oct. 28, the date of the first World Series game at Wrigley Field in 71 years, until Wednesday, Nov. 2, the date of a potential Game 7. The order calls for officers to be prepared on Oct. 31, even though no game is scheduled that day.
Last weekend, six people were arrested on misdemeanor charges of unlawful ticket sales, traffic obstruction, storage of goods on the public way, disorderly conduct, reckless conduct and resisting arrest, according to police. Nine people were taken to hospitals.
Eric Carter, the police department’s deputy chief of special functions, said that people will be allowed to hang around the ballpark, provided they’re respectful and well-behaved.
“People will be allowed to, obviously, take their selfies in front of the marquee and celebrate somewhat,” Carter said.