CHICAGO — After a month in which nearly 15 people were shot every day, Chicago Police announced a July 4 weekend show of force that will include thousands more officers on the streets, officers toting high-powered weapons at airports and teams of officers patrolling the city’s most dangerous neighborhoods, tourist attractions, train stations and parks.
“I’m sick and tired and I know that the people living in those communities are tired of it (the gun violence),” said Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson on Friday. “If it takes 5,000 officers over the weekend, then it takes that.”
Johnson made a similar announcement before the Memorial Day weekend that ended with shootings that left six people dead and 56 others wounded. But on Friday, Johnson said the city had added a number of crime fighting initiatives, including a new policy starting Friday that allows more officers to work overtime. And he pointed to efforts to target the 1,400 people who have been identified as most likely to be suspects or victims of gang violence — including two raids in the last several days that led to more than 100 arrests.
At the same time, in the wake of the gun and bomb attack that killed 44 people at Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport this week, travelers during one of the busiest travel times of the year arrived at the O’Hare International Airport to the sight of officers in military-style gear, an unusual show of force.