Chicago Ramps Up Security for NATO Summit
The NATO Summit in Chicago is less than a week away, and extra security is already beginning to spring up around McCormick Place, the site of the summit, according to a report from CBS Chicago.
Extra police are on patrol around the Loop, parking restrictions are already in place near McCormick Place, and eight anti-NATO protestors have already been arrested and are being charged with trespassing at the building that houses President Obama's campaign headquarters, the article says.
Portable cell phone towers are also being put in place around the Loop to accommodate the anticipated large crowds of protesters and their required cell phone capacity.
Digital signs have been posted, warning of closures along Lake Shore Drive during the summit, which most commuters are viewing as a nightmare.
“Just getting to work, we work right there,” said commuter Kevin O'Connell. “The agencies downtown … they’re having people work remotely from home. So, it’s gonna be a hassle. Nobody’s gonna drive.”
“Chicagoans like to get where they’re going really fast,” commuter Genise Johnson said. If they can’t do that, “they’re going to be angry,” she added.
No-parking signs for the weekend have also been posed along stretches of Ohio Street, Columbus Drive and Indiana Avenue, CBS reports.
Security at the Art Institute, the site of a Sunday dinner for First Lady Michelle Obama and the spouses of NATO delegates, has already been tightened, as guards tell people to stop filming the museum, even from the street, and search bags of visitors and employees.
Local businesses and residences are also taking precautions — certain 24-hour grocery stores are closing early during the weekend or advising customers to shop before or after the summit — and residents of a downtown high-rise building were informed that freight elevators would be shut down and garage entrances might also be closed. Residents might need to cross police lines to get into the building during the summit.