Hundreds of cops who are assigned to patrol Chicago’s neighborhoods are being diverted to protect downtown from looters under an order issued this week by CPD Chief of Patrol Brian McDermott. But, the police district where Mayor Lori Lightfoot lives is specifically exempt from the order.
McDermott’s memo to top brass, with the subject line “Downtown Deployment of Tactical Teams and Incident Teams,” was provided to CWBChicago by a source.
From Rogers Park to Mount Greenwood and from O’Hare to Hegewisch, cops are being pulled downtown to generate a visible presence following a round of violence and looting that swept the area on August 10.
As of Monday morning, some units that would ordinarily handle district-level anti-crime missions and would respond to unfolding incidents such as robberies and shootings in neighborhoods, are now standing on street corners downtown.
Officers ordered to go downtown “will be highly visible. Vehicles will have their [blue] lights activated for the duration of their tour,” McDermott wrote. Officers “will also ensure that they have their helmets, batons, masks (if issued) with them.”
The 19th District, which covers Lakeview and parts of Lincoln Park and Uptown, is sending at least 30 of its officers downtown every day, according to a source. Other districts are providing a similar number of cops. Some districts are also sending prisoner transport vans to support the downtown deployment, according to the order.
McDermott’s order exempts the city’s most violent districts, referred to within the department as “Tier 1,” and the two districts that already patrol downtown. Other than those, every district has been ordered to comply. Well, except for the 14th District, where Lightfoot lives.
The re-deployment of district assets is “continuing until further notice,” McDermott wrote.