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Eddie Johnson: 1,400 more cops on the street over Labor Day weekend

Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson announced Friday that an additional 1,400 officers would be on patrol over the Labor Day holiday weekend. | Sam Charles/Sun-Times

In an effort to tamp down potential shootings over the historically violent Labor Day holiday weekend, Chicago police will deploy an additional 1,400 officers to patrol the streets.

At a press conference outside the Chicago police headquarters Friday, CPD Supt. Eddie Johnson — joined by leaders of several other law enforcement agencies — announced that, along with the extra deployments, police executed a series of raids that netted dozens of arrests and the seizure of several guns and vehicles.

“CPD and our federal partners and our state partners simply will not tolerate violent behavior,” Johnson said.

Noel Sanchez, chief of the Bureau of Organized Crime, said the raids netted 107 arrests, mostly for possession of a controlled substance. About $14,000 in cash was seized, along with 21 vehicles and 12 guns.

Last year, CPD deployed about 1,300 additional officers over the fall holiday weekend, which saw seven people killed and another 35 wounded in shootings across the city. More than 100 guns were also seized over the 2017 Labor Day weekend.

The superintendent was asked why the department chooses to announce its raid results during press conferences just before the holiday weekend.

Johnson said the raids were timed in the hopes of getting those most prone to violence off the streets before the weekend.

“We build these things up over a period of time and we like to coincide it with the [holiday] weekend so we can, hopefully, reduce some of the potential issues we might have going in to that holiday weekend,” Johnson said.

Local leaders of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Federal Bureau of Investigation and Illinois State Police joined Johnson to say that their agencies were united in their efforts to stem the tide of Chicago’s gun violence.

“The rule of law is not optional,” said Jeff Sallett, the Chicago division chief of the FBI.

Absent from the press conference was a representative from the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office.