Police begin 10 days of heightened presence downtown

Chicago police pass a looted storefront on MIchigan Avenue on August 10, 2020. | CWBChicago

By Steven Dahlman • Loop North News

Chicago police have taken positions along Michigan Avenue and State Street and will remain there through Election Day on November 3.

“Everything is fluid,” says Sergeant Linda Aguilera, CPD’s 18th District Business Liaison. She says it is not known exactly how many days after the election the extra personnel will be needed, but for now CPD is prepared to be on alert all of this week.

Patrols have been increased. Days off have been cancelled.

Aguilera says teams have been assigned to “a few” protests they expect on Election Day. In case of a major disruption, she says there is a plan.

“If we need to deploy more resources, we will,” she said. “We do have resources available.”

Expect to see city vehicles such as salt trucks and garbage trucks, says Aguilera, ready in the event police need to “close anything or shut anything down.”

The Wabash Avenue Bridge, next to Trump International Hotel & Tower, will be the only bridge raised on Election Day and probably a few days after, according to Aguilera.

The city’s Emergency Operations Center has been activated to monitor crowds and activity and coordinate responses among multiple agencies and city departments. Over the past several weeks, the Office of Emergency Management & Communications has prepared for severe weather, COVID-19 outbreaks, and protests.

Aguilera encourages the public to be vigilant.

“We are trying to let everybody know if you see something, say something. If you see anything that looks suspicious [such as] piles of bricks,” she says, or any object that could be used to harm people or damage buildings and vehicles.

Aguilera spoke at the October 29 videoconference meeting of Chicago Harbor Safety Committee.

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CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets. Our editorial email address is news@cwbchicago.com