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More Cops Needed To Patrol Lakefront This Summer, Rahm Says

By Heather Cherone | March 29, 2017 11:37am | Updated on March 29, 2017 1:57pm
 Bicyclists and runners on the Lakefront Trail.
Bicyclists and runners on the Lakefront Trail.
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City of Chicago

CITY HALL — More police officers would patrol the lakefront this summer under a proposal introduced Wednesday before the City Council by Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

The joint effort between the Chicago Park District and the Chicago Police Department would add "dedicated police patrol watches primarily at mutually determined Chicago park locations along the lakefront as deemed necessary," according to the measure.

Those officers would be tasked with "eliminating violent crimes and drug-related crimes, and improving safety and security for Chicago residents," according to the measure that both government bodies must open.

The additional officers assigned to the lakefront is a "continuation of a previously announced three-year program" that started in 2016, according to a statement from the mayor's office and will also send more officers to parks across the city.

Officers assigned to the lakefront and parks during the summer months will not reduce staffing in other parts of the city, the mayor's office said.

After total violence in the city surged last year, it has shown no sign of slowing so far in 2017, according to police data.

Violence in Chicago has come under the national spotlight as President Donald Trump has repeatedly criticized the city and likened it to a war zone, most recently this week.

Often referred to as the city's "crown jewel," the lakefront draws more than 100,000 people daily on summer Saturdays and Sundays.