Reporting Jay Levine
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CHICAGO (CBS) — Concerns about public safety in Chicago during the upcoming G8 and NATO summits in May apparently don’t extend to those who will be participating.
CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine spoke with Ivo Daalder, the U.S. ambassador to NATO, who didn’t seem fazed by concerns over threatened disruptions during the three-day summit.
“The United States is hosting this summit, and therefore the United States as the host will be responsible for making sure there is security for all those we have invited,” Daalder said Thursday after addressing Chicago Council of Global Affairs.
It’s the uninvited guests some are worried about: Protestors who’ve come to disrupt and in some cases destroy, as we’ve seen in past summits.
“We’re taking appropriate steps,” Mayor Emanuel told Levine. “This is a very big opportunity economically for the city. It is over a weekend. It’s not during the week, so from all the activity, it’s the least disruptive.”
Still, published reports Thursday were about bids for blast-proof garbage cans. Buildings downtown are putting in new security cameras and hiring special security guards. Others are contracting with board up services, in part because the city hasn’t told anyone what to expect.
“The police department will make clear of what’s there. The training is going on, there’s gonna be a settlement once the national government let us know certain things, or let the public know certain things,” Emanuel said.
To some extent here — though the mayor denies it — Chicago’s wearing the jacket for the Secret Service, which is developing the security plan on its own time schedule and won’t be rushed.
Also, foreign delegations won’t decide who’s coming when until the last minute, leaving the mayor and police superintendent with little to tell those demanding answers.
“What I am convinced of is that these leaders will come, and they will come together and they will do so with the full support of the people of Chicago. And we look forward to coming back here,” Daalder, the ambassador to NATO, said.