Chicago police have toolkit to prevent repeated mayhem in Millennium Park this weekend

CHICAGO (WLS) – There will be no repeat of last weekend’s chaos in Millennium Park, according to a Chicago Police plan obtained by the ABC7 I-Team on Tuesday.

The I-Team learned on Tuesday that CPD officials are putting in place a range of tools to tackle the vandals, brawls, shootings and hooliganism that turned Saturday night into a draw.

In the toolbox police have stored is the possible closure of downtown streets, restricting access to lakeside parks and Michigan Avenue. It would be almost a last resort and concrete plans to do so have not been made or announced, according to law enforcement sources. .

An internal CPD note obtained by the I-Team was sent to commanders on Tuesday afternoon and includes details of a plan to prevent what happened last weekend from happening again. In addition to canceling officers’ days off so more uniformed police can flood downtown streets, commanders are being asked to revisit the month-old CPD plan to shut down the central business district.

They are trying to prevent the chaos and turmoil in the heart of downtown last Saturday night. Police arrested 21 youths and several policemen and others were injured in a melee that spread from parks to streets and intersections.

A 15-year-old boy was shot and wounded while walking on Wabash Avenue and a CTA bus driver was assaulted, beaten and injured during the hours of clash.

The new internal CPD memo tells commanders across town how to recruit weekend staff, cancel days off, overlap shifts, assign special patrols to retail corridors and “En In the event of civil unrest and looting, the deputy chiefs and zone commanders must identify the mobilization points “for the officers.

“I was very happy to see the identification of mobilization points,” said Bill Kushner, a local law enforcement expert, who added that these mobilization assembly points “would indicate to me that they are going use large vehicles to transport agents to the city center “. Kushner is previously the Plains Suburb Police Chief and a frequent I-Team consultant on law enforcement.

After reviewing the CPD plan for the I-Team, Kushner told us that “Eisenhower said” in the battle planning is unnecessary. But having a plan is “priceless.”

Kushner noted that the Chicago Police Department are facing a staffing shortage along with many other departments across the country and are facing emergency deployments for large-scale violent mobs.

One option in the score obtained by the I-Team is titled “Central Business District Emergency Closure Procedures”. If necessary, the Loop and Magnificent Mile would be essentially cut, as they were during the post-George Floyd unrest.

Kushner, who now works with P4 Security Solutions, said highway and road closures would not be as crucial as shutting down public transport, he said was the number of troublemakers last weekend. who went downtown.

“That would be closing the CTA stations and not letting anyone get off trains in the loop or in the immediate vicinity of Roosevelt Road, even coming from Cermak North,” Kushner said. “Block these stations so there is no way out of the train. That would be number one. If you close the loop, you’re going to raise the bridges over the river and you’re going to contain everything south of the river. .

The bridges were erected and used as iron dams during past civil unrest in Chicago to prevent mobs of looters and vandals from moving between sections of downtown.

Former police chief Kushner said the warmer weather forecast for this coming Saturday evening is of particular concern to law enforcement as it could draw large crowds who would otherwise stay indoors.

One section of that internal memo obtained by the I-Team bears repeating: it doesn’t say police expect to shut down downtown this weekend. It is not part of the operational plan. But CPD commanders are being asked to make sure they know what this plan to close the city center is – a plan that was first distributed last April.

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