Chicago Police Detail Security Plan for Food Festival
Police efforts are remaining unaltered at the 2012 Taste of Chicago food festival, despite the event being five days shorter with 20 fewer vendors, according to an article from the Chicago Tribune.
The Taste of Chicago starts on Wednesday, July 11, and lasts until Sunday, with 37 vendors compared to last year’s 57.
But although the event has been cut in half, the article says, security plans remain similar to those in 2011.
According to police Superintendent Garry McCarthy, a police presence is planned for inside and outside the event, with undercover and uniformed officers working together to control crowds. Coordination between Chicago police and private security, with limited entry points for the crowds, is also contributing to event safety, the article reports.
Police spokeswoman Lt. Maureen Biggane said officers at the Taste are assigned to work on days-off and come from multiple units, so staffing the event won’t affect citywide policing.
In years past, the Tribune reports, the festival has seen bouts of violence, especially when crowds flood the city for holiday fireworks displays, which serves as a strong reason for reducing the festival duration to avoid Fourth of July crowds.
In 2008, one person was killed and several injured during a Fourth of July shooting in the Loop, only a few blocks from the event, causing police to bulk up their security efforts in the following years, the article says.