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CPD patrols stepped up as businesses hunker down for stay-at-home order

Some Magnificent Mile stores boarded up their entrances with weeks of closures looming.

The Disney Store was boarded up Saturday as pedestrians walk in the 700 block of North Michigan Avenue.
The Disney Store was boarded up Saturday as pedestrians walk in the 700 block of North Michigan Avenue.
Tyler LaRiviere/Sun-Times

With Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s “stay-at-home” order taking effect Saturday evening, thousands of Chicago police officers were redeployed to monitor retail areas and major thoroughfares throughout the city as they prepare for weeks of closures ahead.

The order effectively shuts down businesses deemed “non-essential,” and by Saturday morning, several shops along the Magnificent Mile were boarded up with plywood. In recent months, the high-end shopping district has been the target of several smash-and-grab burglaries.

A person walks on Saturday in front of the boarded up windows of MCM, a luxury travel goods store at 540 N. Michigan Ave.
A person walks on Saturday in front of the boarded up windows of MCM, a luxury travel goods store at 540 N. Michigan Ave.
Tyler LaRiviere/Sun-Times

Aside from the weekend redeployments — which, a department spokesman said, would be discontinued as of Monday — CPD leadership has enacted an order that will allow department supervisors to quickly change any officer’s assignment, should a need for extra manpower arise.

“The order is designed to be able to scale very quickly to a more elevated posture to be able to protect public safety infrastructure,” Anthony Guglielmi, the CPD’s chief spokesman, said Friday. “If we start getting more and more cases of police officers and the exposure level’s high, you’re going to have to make case-by-case decisions as to whether those officers have to be quarantined.”

The order was enacted Thursday, the same day the department announced that a detective who works out of the CPD’s Homan Square facility had tested positive for COVID-19.

As for enforcement among residents, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said anyone thought to be violating Pritzker’s order would get an “admonition” from Chicago police officers, though misdemeanor charges are possible.