CHICAGO (WLS) -- As in year's past, the Chicago Police Department's Summer Mobile Patrol Units are designed to help stop and deter crime over the summer months. But this year, Superintendent Dave Brown made a few changes he hopes will help bridge the gaps between police and city residents.
There is added attention in the summer of 2020 to building community trust.
"I think it's important that we convey the right message to the community," Supt. Brown said. "This is not a strike force."
The 100 officers chosen to be part of the seasonal unit will, per usual, be on standby throughout the summer, typically when the city sees a spike in criminal activity.
"When CPD officers have reasons to believe there might be trouble coming to a specific bock or neighborhood, the Summer Mobile Unit is there to proactively discourage criminal activity," Brown said.
Supt. Brown said he's also called upon these officers to be community ambassadors, requiring they participate in community service projects a part of their work week.
"We want to sensitize them and keep them sensitized to the community in their efforts this summer," Brown said.
The announcement came after a violent Memorial Day weekend, where at least 10 people were killed and dozens were shot and injured. Together, the superintendent and Mayor Lori Lightfoot united in their mission to prevent and stop crime while at the same time building trust between police and residents.
"We are united and making clear to officers that we hold them, and that they must hold themselves, to the highest standards," Lightfoot said.
"We're committed as a department to protecting Chicago, and we obviously take great risks. Our officers are not bulletproof, nor are they COVID-proof," Brown said.
The Summer Mobile Unit will be deploying from McCormick Place, unlike in years past. Brown said that will allow his officers to better social distance while policing in a pandemic.
Chicago Police Department summer mobile patrolling adds attention to building community trust