Reporting Jay Levine
CHICAGO (CBS) – The Blackhawks celebration involved more planning and much more security than you may think.
CBS2’s Jay Levine was behind the scenes today, and got unprecedented access to security.
It started with street closings at midnight and a sweep of the entire route for explosives well before dawn.
And throughout the day CBS2 rode along with Chicago Police Deputy Chief Steve George, the department’s go-to guy for big event security.
“We’ve essentially got three different things. The procession down Washington, the parade on Columbus, and the rally in the park,” he said.
George’s morning started early—as he checked his troops, gave final orders, and told us why they moved the celebration from Michigan Avenue to Grant Park.
“Putting that many people in downtown in what’s really a canyon, there was nowhere to go. I remember 911 calls of people trapped in revolving doors and we couldn’t get to them fast enough to get through the crowds to help them.” George said.
Aside from the big crush when the Grant Park Gates opened this morning, there was none of that this time. But security monitored the parade the entire time—many inside mobile command posts.
First Deputy Police Superintendent Al Wyzinger said “So we’re trying to watch everything at the same time panning back and forth trying to make sure this is a safe, fun event.”
It wasn’t until the parade ended that authorities were able to take a sigh of relief. And fortunately, police told us that everyone was orderly and they didn’t come across any issues.