Chicago police shared a summer safety plan early Tuesday, detailing ways the department would be combatting the uptick in violence the city typically sees during the warmer months.
Supt. Eddie Johnson outlined highlights of the plan at an 8 a.m. news conference at CPD’s 14th District Tuesday morning.
Johnson began the news conference by announcing three retirements from the department’s command staff, and various promotions from within CPD’s ranks.
Chicago will also have a new mayor beginning in May, with Mayor-elect Lori Lightfoot promising during her campaign to keep Johnson as top cop at least through the summer to help tackle crime.
“It’s no secret that the summer months here in Chicago have historically correlated with increased incidences of crime and our early forecast for 2019 follows that same pattern,” Johnson said, highlighting this year’s plan to utilize technology and data-driven approaches in using the department’s crime-fighting resources most effectively.
Johnson said CPD had identified specific police districts and beats where the department believed available resources “would be most needed during the summer months.”
He added the some initiatives for the summer also include increased collaboration with federal partners on illegal guns across the city, the use of bike teams in entertainment districts, a newly-created summer CTA unit to “enhance the mass transit presence” and a summer mobile patrol that will be dispatched to “high-priority areas.”
When asked dozens of arrests made in downtown Chicago earlier this month when hundreds of teens converged on Millennium Park and the surrounding area, Johnson said that this summer, “Misbehavior is just something that won’t be tolerated.”
“We always factor in the fact that we might have large groups of people coming downtown, so that’s not anything new to us,” he continued, adding. “So of course we always factor that into it, but those things are often fluid, you know, social media drives a lot of that type of activity. So we just have to do a better job of monitoring that but I think overall the police department was prepared for those kids coming down.”
Both Johnson and Lightfoot met with Cook County law enforcement Monday to discuss the new mayor’s philosophy and direction for the rest of the year.
Lightfoot was expected to meet with CPD leadership again Tuesday afternoon, with a spokesman for the transition team saying it would be “on this same topic for a holistic view and plan.”