CHICAGO (CBS) — There were extra officers at Navy Pier in Chicago Thursday night where the annual fireworks display took place, and there was a huge police presence on Lake Shore Drive managing traffic.
But there are other safety plans and preparations going on that aren’t as easily seen.
“You’ll see a huge presence of vehicles, police vehicles, put on Lake Shore Drive,” said Chicago Police Department Supt. Eddie Johnson.
And officials with the city’s Office of Emergency Management say they have it all covered when it comes to keeping you and your family safe on the holiday and continuing into the holiday weekend.
In years past, police have had issues with the ShotSpotter gunshot detection system differentiating fireworks from gunfire.
“It’s a technology that will pick up a specific sound of gunshots,” said Sgt. Kimberly Woods. “Last year we had a bit of a problem.”
ShotSpotter shared the following information to explain how the technology works:
The technology installed throughout the city was set off by the official and unofficial fireworks that go hand-in-hand with the holiday weekend.
Woods said they’ve worked that out this year.
“We took care of that this year by augmenting the sensitivity,” she said. “Just as a backup to ShotSpotter, we have people in the area who are actually there to listen and pay attention with their own ears and eyes.”
Asked to compare this holiday weekend so far to 2018, Johnson said, “You’ll never hear me say I’m satisfied with anything.”
“Let’s see how the rest of the weekend plays out,” he added. “I’m not superstitious, but I just don’t want to jinx anything.”
More than 1,500 extra police officers were deployed for the weekend, working overtime and adjusted schedules to keep the city safe for the holiday.