CHICAGO (CBS) — Security at the Pride Parade on Sunday remains top of mind for police and North Side businesses alike, two weeks after the massacre at a gay nightclub in Orlando.
In Boystown, the faces of the 49 people slain at Pulse nightclub adorn a wall at the corner of Roscoe and Halsted, backed by the rainbow colors of the LGBT community.
For a lot of people in Boystown, the added security for the parade on Sunday is settling; something many are happy to see after the worst mass shooting in U.S. history.
At Progress Bar Chicago, security has been the first priority this weekend.
“We’re not willing to take a chance here, by any means,” owner Nic Lieff said. “Fully staffed security on the floor at all times, and we have an emergency evacuation plan in order that our staff has been trained on.”
Like most restaurants and bars in Boystown, the owners said there will be bag checks this weekend, and security cameras will be rolling.
“It just shows how much they want to celebrate who we are and what we have to give, without giving in to what has happened to us,” Boystown resident Devon Weary said.
This year, organizers of the Pride Parade have increased private security patrols to 160 guards, up from 90 last year.
“It’s understandable, because in the wake of everything going on, we need to be a little more protective,” Roger Vojcak said.
Chicago police have said they will deploy 200 additional uniformed and plainclothes officers out of “an abundance of caution.”
“We’re oing to have a much greater police visible police presence at Pride Parade,” First Deputy Supt. John Escalante said.
The city also will operate and fully staff its emergency command center.
“We have cameras that we have identified throughout the area that we will be aggressively monitoring, and then we also stay in close communication with CTA so we see who’s coming down the rail system and the bus lines,” said Rich Guidice, managing deputy director of the Office of Emergency Management and Communications.