CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago police gearing up for another weekend of possible crowds of young people flooding downtown.
CPD’S goal is to prevent what happened last weekend with chaos erupting and mass arrests. CBS 2’s Steven Graves has details on this plan. And it’s not what anyone wants to hear at the peak of the Christmas season. Officers with days off canceled and a possible shut down of Millennium Park if chaos breaks out again.READ MORE: Chicago Weather Alert: Lake-Effect Snow On The Way With 6 To 8 Inches Possible In Some Areas; Winter Storm Warning Issued
“Kids come downtown. We can’t just start making arrests.”
But on Friday, Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown warned if what happened last weekend happens again, people will be taken in. Last Saturday, officers arrested 21 young people who came downtown near Millennium Park. One 15-year-old is accused of beating a CTA bus driver. And some of the people, among an estimated 500, were even younger.
“Parents dropping 12 and 14 year olds off downtown without any adult supervision is a recipe for police having to be the parent,” Brown said.
CPD Chief Brian McDermott added “the plan modifies certain park procedures, provides for sufficient security and includes a plan to evacuate the park in the event of an emergency.”
“Our city has a role to play. Our state has a role to play. Our education system and our parents have a role to play.”READ MORE: Two Men Shot Dead In Car In Ravenswood; Car Goes On To Crash And Catch Fire
Joseph Williams is a community leader and a parent of a teenage daughter. He also mentors youth and wants the city to do more to engage groups like his in situations like this. His daughter telling him many of these young people come to have a good time.
“It’s just sometimes you have these other children who come out with them that makes it bad,” Williams said. “But then, my daughters say it doesn’t make it any better when the police don’t know how to interact with our youth.”
Superintendent Brown said outreach with youth has increased over the years. Some efforts include youth programs. And on nights like this, community outreach workers are embedded to help mitigate situations.
“It has worked in the past. Not so much last weekend,” Brown said.
Police are monitoring social media where these gatherings seem to originate. Right now, the Chicago Loop Alliance said there are no plans to close down retail stores.
According to the Cook County State’s Attorney Office, the 15-year-old who allegedly attacked the CTA bus driver “was given a valid notice of the court date by the Chicago Police Department, but the minor failed to appear.”
The statement continued with “the judge made a finding of probable cause and a Juvenile Arrest Warrant was issued for the minor’s arrest. This case was continued for status on the Juvenile Arrest Warrant for January 3, 2022.”MORE NEWS: Pair Charged In Murder Of 8-Year-Old Melissa Ortega Denied Bail; Accused Teen Gunman Committed Three Previous Carjackings, Prosecutors Say