CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago Police officers will be constantly busy until the NATO Summit comes to an end, and they were out in force Friday morning to keep the peace.
As CBS 2’s Vince Gerasole reports, as protesters prepare for their first major march Friday, police provided a glimpse of how they are preparing to keep the peace as they started a day for which they’ve been planning for months.
Police have asked us for their safety to not reveal where they are staging. But the site included at least six Chicago Transit Authority buses guarded in a parking lot and waiting, as several dozen Chicago Police officers at a time appeared to begin reporting for duty.
Many arrived in their standard uniforms, but were carrying bulletproof vests and holding bright blue protective metal helmets.
The officers appeared to be boarding the buses in a calm manner. Many were laughing and smiling, and a few even waved at CBS 2’s cameras as they drove past.
But it is worth noting that the offices brought helmets, even though police Supt. Garry McCarthy said publicly that his goal is to keep the officers in their regular uniforms.
McCarthy his officers are not coming out in helmets and riot gear, and such items will not be used unless absolutely necessary.
“There are people who are intent to come and commit crimes, and our expectation is that we’re going to arrest those folks and protect and facilitate the marches and speeches that other people want to do,” McCarthy said earlier this week.
But the force also needs to be prepared for problems as they arise.