CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago police planned to have a highly visible presence at Taste of Chicago when the food festival opens Wednesday in Grant Park, but lots of undercover officers also will be in the crowd.
Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson said there have been no credible threats to the city or the Taste of Chicago ahead of the 37th annual festival, but the department is always concerned about safety with such large crowds.
“You’ll see a high, visible presence out there; and, as usual, we’ll have undercover people out there in the crowds just to maintain security and make sure that nothing’s going on,” Johnson said.
Chicago police arrested 58 people on drug and weapons charges in a series of raids over the July 4th holiday weekend, hoping to keep the violence down. Police said they were targeting 130 people linked to drug trafficking, and who have been identified as the ones who have been “driving the violence,” as police put it.
Even with those arrests, however, more than 100 people were shot over the holiday weekend, 14 of them fatally.