Chicago police on alert after Baton Rouge shooting

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Chicago police are taking precautions after another shooting of police officers in Baton Rouge, La. (WLS)

Chicago police are on high alert and taking extra measures to protect officers here at home after the shooting of six police officers, three fatally, in Baton Rouge, La.

After the shooting of five officers in Dallas on July 7, Chicago police ordered officers to work in pairs. That directive has been reinforced after Sunday's shooting.

"We just want officers to be with someone in the car, two-man cars, that goes for supervisors as well because normally supervisors worked alone but we don't want anybody out there by themselves right now, just merely gives them an extra set of eyes," said Assistant Chicago Police Superintendent John Escalante.

A CPD spokesperson released a statement saying, "Currently there is no threat to Chicago, however notifications have been made to CPD officers and we continue to patrol in pairs and in uniform and remain vigilant."

Tensions between the police and minority communities have escalated in recent months. Escalante said just being an officer is a risk they all signed up for but this is different.

"This type of attack on officers merely because they are in uniform is a new risk and so we want to give them some reassurance and from what we've heard we get positive feedback by saying hey, nobody goes out there alone. Everybody has somebody out there with them," Escalante said.

About 80 percent of the Chicago police force already has partners and for the other 20 percent of officers, the order to work in pairs will be in place indefinitely.

While additional precautions are being taken to protect against something similar happening here in Chicago, Fraternal Order of Police President Dean Angelo is calling for more.

"We're trying to eliminate fixed posts, we're trying to eliminate outside roll calls just for another level of caution," Angelo said. "Things are upside down right now."

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Arnette Heintze is with Chicago-based security firm Hillard Heintze.

Arnette Heintze with Chicago-based security firm Hillard Heintze said officers working in pairs is "absolutely safer."

"It's something that I think I is absolutely mandatory," Heintze said.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel issued a statement of his own saying, "It is painfully clear that our nation must come together. We must rise above the senseless violence that seeds hate at the very time we need to build unity."

Meanwhile, the Chicago Police Department says it has reached out to the police department on Baton Rouge offering support and resources.
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