CHICAGO — A city service blitz is underway ahead of Memorial Day weekend as Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot launches “Our City. Our Safety.”
The initiative is a coordinated effort among city agencies and community organizations to try to interrupt violence over the holiday weekend. It’s the first public safety test for Chicago's new mayor, who was inaugurated Monday.
The Chicago Police Department will deploy an additional 1,200 officers over the weekend. There will be extra patrols on the CTA and along Lake Shore Drive and Michigan Avenue.
Youth programs are also part of the strategy with the Chicago Park District offering free activities at nearly 100 locations.
Lightfoot said curbing gun violence is her top priority.
Friday, Lightfoot and Police Superintendent Johnson asked for help from the public for help.
“We as a community - each of us every home, every block, every neighborhood - we have to also take ownership of our own safety,” Lightfoot said. “We cannot provide sanctuary to those who are picking up guns and terrorizing our community.”
“Much of CPD’s success depends on our vigilant neighbors who are willing to pick up the phone and dial 9-1-1,” Johnson said. “CPD cannot fight the battle against crime alone we need everyone’s help.”
Overnight, CPD’s Organized Crime Units competes pre-holiday narcotics raids arresting 32 people.
Federal and state prosecutors said they’ll do their part.
“We currently have prosecutors assigned to five CPD districts covering Gresham, Englewood, North Lawndale, Little Village and Austin,” Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx said.
Last Memorial Day weekend 7 people were killed, 32 people shot. This year, the city is boosting programming for young people, but the mayor says troublemakers will be dealt with.
“As my mother used to say, if people are out there acting a fool there are going to be consequences,” Lightfoot said. “If you're engaged in violent, criminal activity, we’re coming for you.”
Lightfoot says she’ll be visible all weekend.