Chicago police outline plan to curb summer violence

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago police Supt. Eddie Johnson outlined Tuesday the department's plans to curb violence this summer.

The new summer safety plan includes some new initiatives. Johnson's announcement comes as his future is potentially on the line under the new mayor.

The plan includes a new CTA unit to mitigate the problem of young people using social media to meet downtown and cause trouble, which is something police had to contend with just before Easter. Earlier this month, hundreds of teens ran through downtown streets, some causing trouble and leading to 31 people being charged.

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Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson discusses CPD's summer safety intiative.

Police also plan to strategically deploy special mobile and saturation teams in the entertainment district as well as in other popular high traffic areas like the Mag Mile and along the lakefront. Authorities will be working with anti-violence and community groups as well.

Police will also be using data and intelligence to predict and intercept gang violence.

"So we monitor our crime picture in the city, not just day-to-day, but hour-to-hour, so it changes," Johnson said. "It's a very fluid situation."

Superintendent Johnson said he will talk more about his summer policing strategy closer to the Memorial Day Weekend. He plans to call on different stakeholders in the community to step up.

How the city handles violence this summer could determine if Johnson keeps his job.

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Violent crime typically spikes in the summer months in Chicago and Tuesday morning, Chicago police outlined new summer safety plans to try to prevent it.

"You know I don't worry about things like that because I can't control that. The only thing I can control is ensuring that CPD is ready, that we bring these other stakeholders to the table and keep moving forward," Johnson said.

Mayor-elect Lori Lightfoot said that summer violence is one of her biggest concerns. She convened another meeting Tuesday afternoon with officials from the police and fire departments, as well as from Chicago Public Schools, the Office of Emergency Management & Communications (OEMC) and other agencies.

"I want to make sure that every city resource that we have is focused on keeping our communities safe this summer," Lightfoot said.

Tuesday afternoon, Lightfoot said both she and Johnson are focused on doing their respective jobs, and she is not saying that his job depends on how the summer goes.
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