An additional 1,000 Chicago Police officers will be deployed every night during Labor Day weekend in an effort to curb the holiday weekend’s gun violence.
CPD Supt. Eddie Johnson announced the department’s anti-violence strategies, which range from increased patrols to a series of pre-emptive raids, during a press conference Friday at police headquarters.
“Officers and residents have worked hard for the last several months to ensure a safe and enjoyable season. I’m very proud of their commitment and dedication,” Johnson said, touting the fact that the city has seen the lowest number of shootings since 2014.
“Obviously, that’s not good enough. We still have many families victimized by senseless violence, and while progress is being made, we’re nowhere near where we need to be,” he said.
Johnson said the department executed a series of North Side narcotics and gang missions in the last month, netting 171 arrests for delivery of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance and robbery. Of those arrests, 105 of the suspects were documented gang members, 126 were convicted felons, and 47 had previously been charged with unlawful use of a weapon.
Citywide, the narcotics division made 292 arrests in the last month, seizing 28 illegal guns and more than $3,000 worth of narcotics, Johnson said.
This afternoon at 430pm @ CPD HQ, Superintendent Eddie Johnson will outline #LaborDay2019 safety plans & deployments. We will also brief reporters on an Organized Crime takedown where 171 people have been charged with manufacturing and delivery of controlled substances. pic.twitter.com/cnSiMqQZFf— Anthony Guglielmi (@AJGuglielmi) August 30, 2019
Last year, CPD deployed an extra 1,400 officers for the holiday weekend, which saw four people killed and another 23 injured in city gun violence.
“Historically, Labor Day hasn’t been quite as taxing as [Fourth of July or Memorial Day weekends], but if we need to deploy additional resources, we can,” Johnson said.
The police superintendent said the additional officers will include tactical teams focusing on areas where they expect to see higher levels of activity.
“We’ll also be paying close attention to crowds and large gatherings,” he said.
Chicago Park District rules will be strictly enforced with ATV and bike patrols monitoring the trails, lakefront and park areas, Johnson said. Additional foot patrols will be stationed along Michigan Avenue and other crowded areas.
A contingent of city tow trucks will also be deployed to enforce parking restrictions, he said.
The police department’s marine units will also be fully staffed throughout the weekend, cooperating with the fire department on river and lakefront patrols, Johnson said.
“We want everyone in Chicago to enjoy the Labor Day weekend but in a responsible fashion.”