ABC7 Exclusive: CPD alert warns of gangs targeting officers

June 14, 2013 (CHICAGO)

The alert was issued this week in the West Pullman neighborhood. Officers are not just responding to calls, they're the ones being targeted.

On a beautiful night, West Pullman families celebrate their children's academic success, but there's a new worry now that gangs are targeting police.

"If they are going against the police, who's protecting us?" asked Crystal Bell "That's, like, my main concern."

Police say recent shootings, like one Monday night, involve gang members firing at police officers.

Given that, Chicago Police have issued an "Officer Safety Alert" - an internal warning to police. It states that, according to intelligence, gang members have "numerous assault rifles."

And want the "streets cleared" to "leave an open area to shoot at police."

"We cannot have these gang bangers think they can threaten police and target police. That can't happen. So I think you'll see a very strong police presence," said ABC7 safety expert Jody Weis.

No officers were injured Monday or at a second shooting a week ago. Police issued the alert this week.

"You can't go to work and read something like this and say, 'Okay, another day at the office.' That's not the case. Every time an officer makes a stop or turns the corner in a squad car - there is a chance he may be getting ambushed and has to act accordingly," said Pat Camden.

Chicago Police released a statement, saying: "We issue officer safety alerts out of an abundance of caution for a number of reasons from various threats made to new information or intelligence."

Alderman Carrie Austin says it's time for the community to step up.

"Now, if it's an alert on them, then it's up to us, as the citizens of this ward, to look out for them," Austin said.

So families can still hold get-togethers.

"It's really crazy they will target officers who are supposed to be here to protect you," Alaina Sawe said.

It's important for residents to realize that they are the extra ears and eyes in that community and if they see anything, they should call 911.

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