Chicago police detailed safety plan Friday morning
CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago officials said Friday they are prepared for residents to safely ring in the new year.
Ahead of the New Year's Eve fireworks at Navy Pier, the Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Communications is asking residents to be safe and vigilant, especially in crowds, and to report any suspicious activity to 911.
Many of the River North bars are getting ready to open up Friday night, with New Year's Eve celebrations just a day away.
"This weekend I'm going out to dinner with my girlfriend to Gene and Georgetti's in River North and we'll probably go out to some bars afterwards," said Chicago resident, Michael Gerkin.
Navy Pier will host a New Year's Eve countdown and fireworks display at midnight. Navy Pier will be open from 10 a.m. to 1 a.m. on New Year's Eve.
For more details visit NavyPier.com.
Chicago police will deploy an extra 1,300 officers over the weekend, to ensure neighborhoods and high-traffic areas are safe, CPD Superintendent David Brown said Friday morning.
WATCH | Chicago police detail safety plan for New Year's Eve
They've also developed a comprehensive safety plan, and officers will be visible in retail corridors.
"We are ready for New Year's Eve and all the celebrations taking place across the city," said Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown. "Officers will be doing everything they can to keep everyone safe, but we need our residents and visitors to do everything they can, as well, to celebrate responsibly."
Supt. Brown is also asking bars and clubs hosting New Year's Eve parties to make sure people who are drinking are not over-served.
"You don't want that behavior to lead to someone's life being taken, you don't want it on your conscious, nor do you want to be charged criminally," he said.
On the CTA, volunteers from Violence Interrupters say they will ride the Red Line from the South Side to the Loop on New Year's Eve to provide extra security for riders.
"We are not the police. We are just trying to help people feel safe in Chicago," said Tio Hardiman, executive director for Violence Interrupters. "We plan to board the trains from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., talking to people, greeting people, and doing our best to perform our free services aboard these trains."
CPD will also expand its presence on the CTA, Brown said.
"Public safety is always the number one priority, and the city remains ready to respond to all safety hazards with security measures to ensure a safe New Year's Eve celebration throughout the City," said Rich Guidice, executive director of OEMC.
OEMC will monitor all citywide events, activities, traffic and weather conditions throughout the weekend from the Operations Center and coordinate public safety resources as needed with the Chicago Police Department, Chicago Fire Department and city of Chicago infrastructure departments, Chicago officials said.
CTA is once again providing free bus and rail rides beginning 10 p.m. Saturday until 4 a.m. Sunday; customers do not need to tap their Ventra Card or other payment methods to board buses or enter rail stations during this time.
"I feel like you just have to stick with your friends. Make sure people know where you're at. Always be in communication with someone via text or via call. Don't go out alone, especially late at night," said one Chicagoan.
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