Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy told ABC7 that he does not want a few out of a crowd of thousands to bait officers to use force. The police chief wants the summit's enduring image to be of world leaders doing business in a global city rather than tear gas and riots.
"I don't want to see tear gas deployed," he said. "We have changed our continuum. That is not going to be deployed without my direct order that we're deploying tear gas. I do not want to use less than lethal munitions, whatever that is, bean bags or anything like that. We have a goal that we are not going to disperse crowds. We're going to take people who are committing crimes out of those crowds. And we've train for that."
Chicago police will not initially deploy in riot gear. The superintendent says that itself can create confrontation among demonstrators. Police will also attempt to extract individual lawbreakers rather than make mass arrests. Police officers will work 12-hour shifts starting on Saturday, May 19 and they will stay on that schedule through Monday, May 21. Despite a huge police presence downtown, the superintendent says that neighborhoods will actually see a 15-percent increase in officers in the coming days.
Chicago police will be getting backup. Philadelphia, Charlotte, and the state police are all sending officers to participate in security measures during the NATO summit. The number of officers from outside the city coming here to help will put their number into the hundreds.