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Residents Seek Answers About NATO Summit

Residents who will be affected by the upcoming NATO summit attended an informational meeting in April. (CBS)

Residents who will be affected by the upcoming NATO summit attended an informational meeting in April. (CBS)

Mike Parker Mike Parker
Mike Parker has been a general assignment reporter for CBS 2 Chicago...
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CHICAGO (CBS) –  Chicagoans who live near the epicenter of the coming NATO summit seem to have more worries than most. Monday night, they got some answers from those in the know.

The answers were heavy on reassurance and a bit light on details, as CBS2’s Mike Parker reports.

The summit will be a real life event for the folks who live and work in the shadow of McCormick Place. So, inside a South Michigan Avenue church, they heard from two security consultants — a former Secret Service agent and a former Chicago police superintendent — hired by the host committee.

Earlier at Chef Luciano’s Chicken Restaurant, co- owner Rocky Gupta had wondered  about plans to let the demonstrators get as far as 22nd and Michigan Avenue, just a half block from the café.

He wanted to know what plans the Secret Service and the FBI have for the disbursement of the protestors.

Security consultant Arnette Heintze was not specific.

“That’s best addressed by the Chicago Police Department, and it’s part of their tactical plan. I’m  sure that some of their plans are not going to be made public,” he said.

Many residents are also hearing unconfirmed reports that there is a plan for mass evacuations in the neighborhood.

Heintze said he has not heard any such “specific plans.”

Former CPD Superintendent Terry Hillard says residents who will be affected by the summit should relax and let the Chicago police do their job.

“They’re going to be very sensitive to this community and to all the communities that’s affected by NATO,” he said.

Earlier, Chicagoland Community Management sent notices to residents living in some of their 90 buildings around the city.

They were told to carry identification and avoid hosting large parties, among other things, during the summit.

Also Monday, protesters who plan to demonstrate during the NATO summit said they would wait to meet with the Secret Service Tuesday before taking any legal action surrounding the security perimeter around the event. They had set a 5 p.m. Monday deadline for officials to tell them where the perimeter will be located.