AUSTIN — There was no champagne when the clock struck midnight for Chicago's top cop this year.
He was working.
But one police officer who was on patrol with Police Supt. Garry McCarthy Tuesday morning said they observed a different New Year's tradition.
"At the stroke of midnight, the windows are all the way down and we're listening for gunfire," said Officer William Riga, who was patrolling the city's Austin neighborhood with McCarthy overnight.
"That's sort of our New Year's tradition," Riga said.
Riga said they heard plenty of gunfire, and they also found at least one gun.
McCarthy helped make an arrest early Tuesday morning after police found a gun during a traffic stop, according to Chicago police spokesperson Melissa Stratton.
McCarthy spent New Year's Eve patrolling the city's 15th police district, Stratton said. McCarthy was part of a two-car "tandem" patrol team, Riga said.
Around 1:30 a.m., McCarthy, Riga and two other officers saw a car blocking the intersection of the 5500 block of West Congress Parkway. Riga said the driver was not wearing a seat belt and was pulled over.
Riga said officers saw the passenger in the car reach underneath his seat, so Riga and another officer asked the two to get out of the car. Riga said McCarthy walked alongside the car and saw a Glock 22 handgun on the floor.
Montrez Armstead, of the 1400 block of North Lawndale, was charged with a felony for possessing the gun. Riga said the serial number for the weapon was unlisted.
Riga said police were on the lookout for guns in the Austin neighborhood because he said they could hear a number of shotguns, handguns and semi-automatics firing around midnight.
"It was all over the place," Riga said. "So the firearms were definitely out there."
Police recovered 89 guns on New Year's Eve, according to Stratton.
The arrest occurred on a New Year's Day that saw more than 12 people shot, at least two of which were fatal.