Increased police presence expected at Ribfest after teen takeover at Tinley Park Carnival

ByStephanie Wade WLS logo
Friday, June 30, 2023
Increased police presence expected at Tinley Park Ribfest
An increased police presence is expected at Ribfest 2023 after a teen takeover broke out at the Tinley Park Carnival last month.

TINLEY PARK, Ill. (WLS) -- From smoky skies to smoked meats, Tinley Park is gearing up for their first ever Ribfest.

While village leaders are excited for this new event, they've also had to take some additional safety precautions, given what happened last month at the carnival.

"We do shrimp on the Barbie. We have beef brisket, pulled pork," said Paul MacKay with Aussom Aussie Australian Barbecue.

Things are heating up ahead of the inaugural Tinley Park Ribfest.

"We're going to have 12 bands. Three bands every single day, and we're going to have seven rib vendors from all over the place. It's going to be amazing," said Tinley Park Mayor Michael Glotz.

The four-day festival kicks off on Saturday at the 80th Avenue Metra station in the south suburb, ending with a fireworks show on the Fourth of July.

"People, when they come to Tinley Park, we get so many compliments of how they feel safe. And then, when we had that carnival. It kind of ruined that," said Tinley Park Police Chief Matthew Walsh.

SEE ALSO | Tinley Park carnival canceled Sunday after fights break out during teen 'flash mob': VIDEO

After what happened in May at the Tinley Park Carnival, when hundreds of teens swarmed the event, creating a chaotic flash mob and fights breaking out, the village has prepped significantly, altering safety plans and enhancing security measures and police presence.

"I've canceled all days off for the full four days. We're getting help from the Illinois law enforcement alarm system, who are going to assist us with some security," Walsh said.

This weekend's event is entirely fenced in, with metal detectors at numerous checkpoints. People ages 17 and under must be accompanied by an adult at all times.

And, police said they're constantly monitoring social media, where the "teen takeovers" usually culminate.

"We are going to have video cameras all over the place, we're going to have drones flying with surveillance all within the law. There will be ample signage to let people know that. But, these are some of the measures that have to be put in place to ensure that residents and all the residents coming to Tinley Park that they can have a great time," said Village Manager Pat Carr.

The police chief said the South Suburban Emergency Response team will be on-site if needed. They've also hired private security to search bags upon entering.

The Ribfest starts on Saturday afternoon and goes from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. and ends on Tuesday with a fireworks show.

READ MORE | Fireworks 2023: Full list of 4th of July events, displays across Chicago area