Chicago police leaders have hatched a 42-page plan for the upcoming weekend that will have all cops working 12-hours shifts as additional officers reinforce the central business district and teams stand by for the possibility of mass arrests and juvenile detentions. That’s according to a copy of the plan provided to CWBChicago.
Just one week ago, CPD Supt. David Brown said plans for the upcoming weekend “may not necessarily involve” canceling days off.
“We’re looking at people who want to [volunteer to] work their days off,” Brown said. But the 42-page plan, which cancels days off for all officers, was already finalized as Brown commented. According to CPD emails provided by sources, some police commanders told their officers three weeks ago that they should expect to work mandatory 12-hours shifts on Father’s Day weekend.
The upcoming weekend also comes at the end of the school year for Chicago Public School students and is expected to include Juneteenth celebrations and the Puerto Rican Parade.
“Overworked officers are not well officers if they’re not getting their rest,” Brown said last week.
But cops across the city will begin reporting for three days of back-to-back 12-hour shifts beginning at 6 a.m. Friday, June 18, according to the CPD plan. Officers will be instructed to wear their full uniform and have crowd control gear such as batons, gas masks, and helmets ready for every shift.
According to the plan, groups of detectives assigned to each of CPD’s five areas will be assigned to stationary “foot posts” in the central business district throughout the weekend. CTA buses will transport those officers to the downtown area from the detective bureaus where they normally work. The central business district generally includes the Loop, River North, Magnificent Mile, and Gold Coast between Division Street, Roosevelt Road, Halsted Street, and Lake Michigan.
The department’s fugitive apprehension units will patrol the Red Line all weekend, according to the plan.
Other detectives will form “major incident response teams” to handle significant incidents in their usual assignment areas. Others will be on standby to activate as “mass arrest processing teams” in the event of “mass arrest situations,” the plan said.
Cops who work as youth investigators and in CPD’s special victims unit will be available for “youth processing” in the Central (1st) Police District, which patrols the Loop, Millennium Park, and Grant Park, according to the plan.
The detailed strategy also calls for commanders of districts along the lakefront to “ensure the continuous flow of traffic on Lake Shore Drive,” a chore that is all but impossible on the best of days.
District officers will be assigned to monitor LSD’s on- and off-ramps to “ensure they do not back up creating gridlock.” Cops will be told to open and close exits as necessary to keep traffic moving along the lakefront thoroughfare.
The plan’s commitment of resources to the downtown area should not be surprising. Millennium Park and nearby Loop side streets have been overrun repeatedly by hundreds of young people on weekend nights since late April.
The so-called “large group incidents” are disruptive to businesses, drivers, and pedestrians as some of the participants engage in fights, jump on cars, and occasionally batter strangers. But there have been more serious incidents, including several gun arrests, shots fired, and people shot during the incidents.