CPD ramps up security in time for Memorial Day weekend

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Chicago police are bracing for the possibility of a violent Memorial Day weekend. (WLS)

Chicago police are bracing for the possibility of a violent Memorial Day weekend. The department is looking for extra officers to work on their days off, and may cancel time off for others.

Not only has Chicago seen a 60 percent spike in shootings this year, statistics show Memorial Day weekend, the traditional kick-off to summer, can also signal the start of surge in summer violence.

On a special edition of Windy City Live Tuesday, Chicago Superintendent Eddie Johnson came face to face with those who have experienced violence first hand.

"There are things we can all do to make this city safer," said Johnson.

Adding officers through overtime on especially dangerous summer weekends is one thing police are doing.

On Memorial Day weekend two years ago a total of 26 people were shot, seven people were murdered. Last year, the numbers doubled to 48 shootings and 14 murders.

This year, police are staffing up.

In a memo obtained by Eyewitness News, police brass asked for volunteers to work on their days off over the holiday weekend. If there are no enough volunteers, some officers may be compelled to work.

But Chicago's top cop made it clear that he does not think police can stop the spike on their own.

"The ages of kids having guns and willing to use them are like 14, 15 and 16 years old so I think parents have to be a lot more vigilant on what children bring into the home and what they're doing outside the home and who their friends are," said Johnson.

These call-outs for extra officers are not unusual. CPD also did it when Donald Trump planned a big rally at the University of Illinois Chicago and during other long holiday weekends that prove violent in this city.
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