WRIGLEY FIELD — The Chicago Cubs are taking advantage of the All-Star break for a new drill in emergency preparedness.
Wrigley Field will partner with the Chicago Police Department on Thursday for an emergency response exercise inside the ballpark, the Cubs announced. The Office of Emergency Management, the Chicago Fire Department and Emergency Medical Services also will participate.
From 7 a.m. to 2 p.m., staff and emergency personnel will simulate an active shooter situation, the Cubs said. The exercise will include simulated gunshots, helicopters and flashbangs — explosive devices designed to distract a suspect.
Waveland Avenue will be closed from Clifton to Kenmore avenues for both vehicles and pedestrians during the exercise.
Police said it's the first time the ballpark has conducted this training in coordination with the city and likely the first active shooter simulation at a Chicago sports venue. A follow-up session will take place later in the year, an officer said.
A Cubs spokesman did not immediately confirm whether Thursday's exercise would be a first for Wrigley Field.
Neighbors with questions can email email@example.com.
The Cubs have been ramping up security measures at Wrigley Field during renovations. Metal detectors were installed at the start of the season, part of a leaguewide measure.
The team also floated the idea of closing Clark and Addison streets on game days to better comply with suggestions from a Department of Homeland Security resource guide issued after the Boston Marathon bombing in April 2013.
While the city rejected the idea of closing two major Lakeview thoroughfares, Major League Baseball has made some of the security recommendations mandatory for all clubs. One requirement was installing metal detectors around ballpark entrances.
The Homeland Security report strongly recommends higher-level incident response training for sports venue employees and local law enforcement.
"Coordinated training efforts help to not only establish strong positive ties," but also "can speed up effective coordinated incident management during actual incidents," the report says.
The Cubs and Wrigley Field are 95 percent owned by a trust established for the benefit of the family of Joe Ricketts, owner and CEO of DNAinfo.com. Joe Ricketts has no direct involvement in the management of the iconic team.
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