Federal Grant Issued For Security At G8, NATO Summits

CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago and Cook County are sharing more than $54 million in federal grant money to make the area secure, including a plan of action for the G8 and NATO summits.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Steve Miller reports, from May 15 to May 22 of next year, Chicago will host the summits. Protesters have vowed massive demonstrations.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Steve Miller reports

In the past, those demonstrations in other cities have indeed been massive, and some violent.

Chicago is getting ready.

“We’re going a great deal of planning at this point,” said Gary Schenkel, executive director of Chicago’s Office of Emergency Management and Communications. “The difficult parts, the technical parts of the plan will not really come into play until probably three or four months out from the actual event.”

Schenkel and his counterpart in Cook County say some of the $54 million in federal money will go toward training first responders.

Meanwhile, some colleges and universities in the downtown area have decided to cancel or reschedule some activities because of the anticipated protests.

Columbia College’s Manifest urban-arts festival is the college’s annual showcase that attracts some 30,000 people to the South Loop. It was scheduled for May 18, right in the middle of the G8 and NATO summits, but has been pushed up to May 4.

Also, this year’s graduation at Columbia was scheduled the day after the festival; it now moves to May 5 and 6.

Columbia is not the only school affected. Administrators at Roosevelt University are meeting next week to decide if summer school classes will be cancelled that week.

DePaul plans to cancel some minor activities and is looking at its campus schedule.

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