Several police departments in the Chicago area announced plans to hold a Memorial Day parade and a shooting spree at a Fourth of July parade in Highland Park, nearly a year after seven people were killed and dozens injured. It announced plans to increase the number of police officers on duty at the ceremony.
[ Highland Park parade shooting: What we know about the victims, suspect, community and aftermath ]
Sergeant Joe Murphy of the Arlington Heights Police Department said that following the tragic events at Highland Park, the town is carefully reviewing public safety plans for all community events, including the Memorial Day Parade. said.
“Police departments, fire departments, public works, and members of the village administration are working with parade organizers to ensure that safety is the number one priority for the event,” Murphy said.
One change that parade participants attending Memorial Day events might notice is an increase in personnel levels, he said. Additional officers will be present at this summer’s event, and the number of supervisors will also increase, he said, but other updated safety measures may remain unseen.
Over the past year, fire and police departments have been conducting joint drills, with a focus on firefights and safety measures at large community events, he said. Departments are reviewing reports detailing public safety responses to other violent incidents, and the Arlington Heights Police Department is incorporating its recommendations into its training and operations, Murphy said.
Murphy said despite the recent shootings, the village strongly encourages community members to continue to participate in events like Memorial Day.
“The village of Arlington Heights makes the safety and well-being of its residents and visitors a top priority,” he said. “We recognize the responsibility of public safety to provide a safe environment for communities to come together and show respect to the brave men and women of our military, especially those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.”
Naperville Police Commander. Mishaus Williams said nearly 30 police officers will be deployed to guard the city’s Memorial Day parade. He said police would block roads and inspect rooftops along the parade route, as they have done for years.
But Williams said the department’s new tool this season is tethered drones. He said tethered drones would allow police to identify potential threats from above.
“[Tethered drones]have the advantage of being able to see the unexpected ahead of time,” he says.
The department plans to use drones for most special events going forward, Williams said.
Other than that, the ministry’s approach has remained largely unchanged from the previous year, he said.
“We’ve always prepared for the worst-case scenario because the parade is a kind of special event that is vulnerable to any kind of attack, whether it’s a mass shooting or a terrorist attack of any kind.” said Williams. “So our approach hasn’t really changed that much.”
This year’s Park Ridge Memorial Parade will feature a police presence and other precautionary measures.
[ Park Ridge plans Memorial Day Parade with focus on security ]
“I think it’s safe to say that all local police have changed their views on public gatherings and parades since the Highland Park tragedy,” Park Ridge Police spokesman Tom Gadomsky told the Pioneer Press electronically. told me by email. “That said, we are taking extra precautions, including having special police officers throughout the parade route.”
The Chicago Police Department, Fire Department and Emergency Management Communications Agency hosted the event. Press conference Discuss safety plans for summer city special events in early May.
Chicago Police Department Patrol Chief Brian McDermott said the department will address public safety concerns raised by the community about this summer’s mass gatherings.
The city’s Memorial Day Wreath Laying Ceremony will be held at Daly Plaza on Saturday. After the event, the parade travels down State Street from Lake Street to Van Buren Street.
McDermott did not disclose specific plans set for Memorial Day, but the Counterterrorism Administration, Crime Prevention Information Center and Strategic Decision Support Center will monitor parades and other events in real time and He said he plans to hire staff. timely in an emergency.
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Jose Tirado, interim executive director of the Chicago Emergency Management Communications Agency, said the city’s summer operations center has begun operations for the season.
He said the center facilitates coordination of departments on the deployment of resources for violence prevention, and daily phone calls are made between all agencies to share information while the center is running.
Earlier this year, the agency released an app that provides users with emergency alerts, weather forecasts and event information, he said. In the event of an emergency at a large community gathering, the app will alert users to the threat with push notifications.
First Deputy Fire Chief Mary Sheridan At the press conference, he also acknowledged that Memorial Day marks the unofficial start of summer and expressed his hopes for a safe summer.
“We are looking forward to warmer weather, as are the residents,” she said. “We know every Chicagoan wants to get out and enjoy the beaches, parks and downtown lakeside, and we’re there to make sure they’re safe.”
Contributed by Caroline Kubzanski of Pioneer Press.