Chicago police plan show of force for Memorial Day weekend

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Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson is promising to keep the city safe during the Memorial Day holiday weekend. (WLS)

Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson is promising to keep the city safe during the Memorial Day holiday weekend.

To do so, he's assigning more than 1,000 extra police officers to the streets.

Two years ago a brawl broke out on North Avenue Beach during Memorial Day weekend. Thousands of beachgoers were on hand, but witnesses said there were no police in sight. Police said that will not be the case this year.

"The show of force we will have will serve as a loud message. We will not tolerate violent behavior," Johnson said.

Police said warmer weather brings more people outside, which in turn leads to more crime. It all usually starts on Memorial Day weekend. So city, state and federal officials are uniting, promising an increased presence and crackdown on crime.

Chicago police said they are cancelling voluntary days off as they aim to put more than 1,000 extra uniformed and plain clothed officers on the streets. The State's Attorney's Office will have people on duty to help charge offenders, and other agencies are preparing as well.

"The Chicago Fire Department will have increased visibility in the neighborhoods this summer," said Chicago Fire Department Commissioner Jose Santiago.

Police said one of their strategies is to be proactive, bringing in known offenders on outstanding warrants before the weekend. Federal agents are also on board with that strategy.
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