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1,300 Extra CPD Officers Put On The Streets For Labor Day Weekend

By Kelly Bauer | September 1, 2017 9:21am
 More Chicago Police will be on the streets this weekend to prevent and respond to violence.
More Chicago Police will be on the streets this weekend to prevent and respond to violence.
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DNAinfo/Kelly Bauer

DOWNTOWN — An extra 1,300 police officers will be on the streets every day this weekend in a bid to reduce Labor Day weekend violence.

The surge in officers will "increase our presence" and give the department more flexibility when deploying its resources, said First Deputy Supt. Kevin Navarro during a Friday news conference. The surge comes during a holiday weekend that is usually one of the most violent for Chicago.

"CPD will not tolerate violent behavior, and if you choose to put others in danger through your actions you will feel the full weight of CPD and our partners in law enforcement," Navarro said.

The extra officers will patrol the streets and lakefront by foot, on bike and will work in traffic enforcement, particularly on Lake Shore Drive, Navarro said. Officers will also have a presence at large events, though Navarro said there is no credible threat to Chicago.

Even before the weekend, the department carried out a six-week operation to arrest "violent street gang members" so families and community members could enjoy the weekend, said Anthony Riccio, chief of the Bureau of Organized Crime.

Riccio said officers primarily focused on the South and West sides, as well as areas where there has been an uptick in crime, like Wicker Park.

Ninety people are in custody and 86 have been charged with felonies, Riccio said. Police also seized seven guns; found more than 2,000 grams of heroin, cannabis and cocaine; impounded eight cars and executed 15 search warrants.

"I feel it makes a huge difference," Riccio said. "We're locking up the people that we think are driving the violence."

Police will also staff the Strategic Decision Support Centers in the 6th, 7th, 9th, 11th and 15th districts. The support centers combine technology and human experience to help officers prevent and respond to crime.

State Police troopers will be "out in force" to prevent crime and look for unsafe driving, said Leo Schmitz, director of State Police. Troopers will look for those who are speeding, distracted, impaired or wearing seatbelts improperly.

Last year, there were 45 shootings that killed 13 people and wounded 51 others over the Labor Day weekend.