Chicago police cancel officers' days off again in effort to protect downtown from recent mayhem

ByChuck Goudie and Barb Markoff, Christine Tressel, Ross Weidner WLS logo
Thursday, December 16, 2021
CPD cancels days off again in effort to protect downtown from mayhem
Short-notice CPD memo cancels days off in effort to protect downtown from recent mayhem.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago police will order days off canceled this weekend for thousands of officers.

The I-Team obtained a new, internal memo from the Chicago Police Department that was sent to district commanders citywide.

RELATED | Chicago police step up patrols, cancel days off after downtown disturbances

Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown outlined a new safety plan after mobs of young people flooded downtown streets and Millennium Park last weekend.

That memo outlines how thousands of CPD officers will have one of their days off this weekend canceled, as the department again will deploy uniform teams to the Gold Coast and other retail corridors.

Police brass hopes the Friday and Saturday saturation patrols will discourage criminal mobs from taking over downtown parks and streets.

The memo, coming on the last weekend before Christmas, does not explain why it is coming out on Wednesday for Friday to Sunday deployments.

The order could have been put in place days or even weeks earlier, according to police sources who spoke with the I-Team on Wednesday without permission from headquarters.

SEE ALSO | Police to increase patrols after series of violent robberies in Lincoln Park, Lakeview

Lincoln Park Alderman Michele Smith said she welcomes the additional officers.

"The Christmas time is actually traditionally been a time of somewhat elevated crime," Smith said. "It just has been, and therefore it should be a time when more police are working."

She sent out a community alert Wednesday and said CPD has pledged more officers to her 43rd Ward, law enforcement resources and patrol vehicles that will run with blue lights flashing.

"We asked for help and today the police department has offered us essentially over 50 new, 50 additional officers helping us some will be tactical teams trying to catch these guys," Smith said.

SEE ALSO | Surveillance video captures thieves targeting Gold Coast Exotic Motors dealership

Surveillance video captures a pair of thieves stealing millions of dollars worth of jewelry from the Gold Coast Exotic Motors dealearship Saturday.

After a weekend armed break-in at one of his car dealerships, Joe Perillo said thieves made off with millions of dollars in high-end watches.

"I think what we should be doing, is having law and order," said Perillo.

Perillo also said city hall and the courts need to do a better job protecting people and businesses.

Alderman Smith, who has lived in Chicago for decades, said she remembers a period when the city was more unsafe than it is now. She is convinced with citizen action and law enforcement commitment, there will be change.

"It is wrong to say that there appears to be no end," Smith said. "There will be an end. Our communities will come up with strategies to fight crime."

She also said the city council has budgeted for a fully staffed police force, and that it's up to CPD headquarters to accelerate hiring and fill those positions to help protect the public.

Once that happens, and it won't be overnight, the schedule changes and regular cancellation of days off may subside, she said.

CPD has not yet provided detail as to why this weekend schedule change was done on a Wednesday.