CHICAGO -- Starting Friday night, there will be an extra 1300 Chicago police officers on duty. That's 500 more than were on the streets last Memorial Day weekend when 71 people were shot, 6 fatally.
In 2015 57 people were shot, 12 killed.
Earlier Friday city leaders, law enforcement and community members are hoping for peace all weekend long.
Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson had a busy day of news conferences, speaking at a local church and a meeting with officers in the Wentworth District for a roll call.
“Tonight will be the start of the Memorial Day weekend,” he said. “We as a city have to come together to reduce this violence that's out here. We have to.”
Superintendent Johnson, along with Mayor Rahm Emanuel spoke at the Apostolic Faith Church Friday night as part of a Faith in Action concert. It aimed to promote peace this holiday weekend.
“You think there's anything stronger out there than what's in here? Not a chance,” Emanuel said. “The love, the warmth, the support in this room is more powerful than any gang banger driving around in an SUV out there.”
This weekend is also the launch of the summer mobile patrol, a unit of officers that Johnson says can be moved in a split second to respond to crime as it happens.
And on the roads, Illinois State Patrol will have increased roadside safety checks and speed enforcement this weekend and will focus too on distracted driving and seat belt use.