Chicago police, city officials announce Memorial Day Weekend public safety strategy

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago police and other city officials announced their "all-hands-on-deck" public safety strategy in preparation of Memorial Day Weekend Friday morning.

Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown and representatives from the Chicago Fire Department, Chicago Park District and other agencies spoke at 11 a.m.

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Chicago police and other city officials announced their public safety plan for Memorial Day weekend Friday morning.

To supplement on-the-ground public safety resources, the police department will increase patrols beyond its regular deployments starting Friday, and people can expect to see a heavier presence of uniformed officers in and around major transit hubs and thoroughfares.

Building off the city's best practices when it comes to coordinating large-scale events and emergencies, the city is launching a first-of-its-kind Summer Operations Center within the Emergency Operations Center at OEMC. Starting Friday, and throughout every weekend this summer, the SOC will be staffed by representatives from city departments like the Park District, Chicago Transit Authority, Chicago Public Schools, Streets and Sanitation and more, in a comprehensive approach aimed at reaching the most vulnerable people in the most vulnerable neighborhoods, officials said. Through the new center, departments and agencies will be able to monitor citywide activity and deploy resources and services more quickly and efficiently to communities.

"With our all-hands-on-deck effort, we are maximizing CPD's police resources with one goal in mind - to save lives," Brown said. "Throughout the summer, officers will continue to be present in all areas of the city and equipped with the tools necessary to address the unique needs of the communities they serve. "

And while the department is focused on crime fighting prevention efforts, the city said officers will continue to enforce the stay-at-home order by dispersing any large gatherings and issuing citations where necessary.

"Even as we face an unprecedented public health crisis, our first responders, city workers and street outreach partners from across Chicago are coming together in an all-hands-on-deck effort to keep residents safe this weekend and throughout the summer," Mayor Lori Lightfoot said. "While I encourage all residents to celebrate the holiday, it remains imperative that we do so by staying inside and social distancing so we can continue to save lives and keep our fellow neighbors safe and healthy."

The lakefront and its adjacent parks remain closed, but other Chicago parks are open.

Chicago police also launched Operation Clean in the 10th, or Ogden, District Friday.

As part of CPD's comprehensive strategy, the department's Office of Community Policing has partnered with the Department of Streets and Sanitation, the Chicago Department of Transportation and the Department of Water Management to launch Operation Clean missions every weekend.

Some of that mission was in action Friday morning in the city's North Lawndale neighborhood. Various city crews were working together to remove graffiti, clean empty lots and fix potholes and broken street lights to deliver resources directly to Chicago neighborhoods, with the goal of improving quality of life issues.

To support the city's services efforts, the mayor's Office of Violence Reduction has launched the first-ever Violence Reduction Dashboard, which is designed to enable city departments and street outreach organizations to use crime data to not only centralize strategic police missions and street outreach deployments but also inform various department operations and resources. By providing each department with real-time data in neighborhoods across Chicago, the city can further ensure cross-department collaboration when it comes to reducing violence through societal investments.
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