A top Chicago police executive canceled days off for over 1,000 city cops in a message to leadership Monday, according to a copy of the order that was provided to CWBChicago by a source. Police, various city departments, and other “public safety partners” are also implementing a limited version of the city’s “retail corridor protection plan” beginning at 5 p.m. today, First Dept. Supt. Eric Carter wrote.
He canceled days off effective today for the police department’s Community Safety Team (CST), Critical Incident Response Team (CIRT), and district-level tactical teams, the memo said. According to the city’s inspector general’s office, CST consists of 768 cops, while CIRT has 223 members.
The extra manpower gained by canceling days off will be put on the streets between 7 p.m. and 4 a.m. beginning Tuesday, April 27.
City leaders crafted various “retail corridor plans” to protect the Magnificent Mile and major shopping districts in the Loop, Wicker Park, Lincoln Park, and other neighborhoods after waves of looting hit Chicago last spring and summer.
In an “after-action report” following riots and looting that swept the city in late May and early June 2020, CPD said the new retail corridor plans “ensure our city’s retail corridors are protected in the event of future unplanned, large-scale incidents of civil unrest.”
When the plans are implemented, trucks, plows, and other equipment from the city’s water, transportation, and streets and sanitation departments are deployed to strategic locations across the city “to deter organized criminal activity while facilitating…[an] ability to rapidly and efficiently enact closures.” In addition to retail strips, the plans call for protecting public transit assets, historical and cultural monuments, and other key locations.
Carter also ordered all 12,000+ Chicago cops to wear uniforms at work beginning Tuesday, but he stopped short of implementing 12-hour shifts — at least for now. His order remains in place until further notice.
A copy of Monday’s order provided to CWB does not provide a reason for increasing the city’s posture. But Carter’s message came hours after North Carolina authorities privately showed a limited amount of police bodycam footage to family members of Andrew Brown Jr., who was recently shot to death by deputies there. Two deputies who were at the shooting have since resigned and another has retired, CNN reported. Seven other deputies have been placed on administrative leave.
Locally, the Chicago Office of Police Accountability generally releases police bodycam footage and other materials within 60 days of shootings that involve CPD officers. Several recent CPD incidents are within the release window.
Other potential explanations for Carter’s action, according to CPD insiders, are online chatter about nefarious plans, the anticipation of large protests, or the simple fact that Tuesday’s high temperature is expected to be in the low- to mid-80s. One source said certain groups of the department’s Community Safety Team have not had a day off in over three weeks.
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