Security tightened near Obama's home

August 29, 2008 4:45:12 PM PDT
Now that Senator Obama is the official presidential nominee for the Democratic Party, security is being beefed up around his South Side home.Although the senator and his family will be busy on the campaign trail and are unlikely to spend lots of time at the home, tight security measures are in place.

More than 38 million people watched Obama's acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention, and his popularity that draws visitors to the area around his home.

It is a quiet neighborhood, but it's also a historic area containing the home of the nation's first African-American presidential nominee.

"I was here to visit the friend, and she told me that he lived in Hyde Park. I was hoping that I would be able to go see the home," said Obama Supporter Denise Bland, who was taking pictures of the Obama family's house.

Senator Obama has had Secret Service protection since early in his presidential campaign. But since he has become the Democratic nominee, authorities have stepped up that protection. Secret Service agents are stationed at the home, directing visitors where to go. Also, there are concrete barriers restricting traffic in the area, and parking restrictions are also in effect.

However, there are few complaints from neighbors and members of the synagogue across the street from the Obamas' home.

"The overwhelming response has been, 'We understand. We don't mind. Do whatever you have to do to make sure this nominee, or any nominee, regardless of party, is safe and secure," said congregation president Larry Bloom.

The Secret Service is keeping security details private. But, in a statement, spokesperson James E. Makin wrote, "Any visible changes in security will be coordinated with the Chicago Police Department and other city officials. We will make every effort to ensure that adjustments to security affecting area residents will be as unobtrusive as possible."

Parents who children attend the preschool near Obama's home say they have an unintended benefit.

"We have Secret Service right across the street. We have the Chicago police, and the University of Chicago police patrolling the area. If they're not safe here, they're not safe anywhere," said parent Elise Edmond.

The names residents and of the members of the synagogue congregation have been given to the Secret Service. Visitors to the congregation are encouraged to call ahead and those names will be added, as well.

Most of the people who spoke with ABC7 Chicago Friday in the area were Obama supporters. So, very few complaints about the security inconveniences were voiced.


Load Comments