Extra police on hand at CTA stations Memorial Day weekend

CHICAGO — Chicago officials Saturday said city agencies are continuing to work together to keep residents and tourists safe this Memorial Day weekend.

The long weekend and start of the summer season typically bring an uptick in shootings. To help turn things around, the Chicago Park District is offering free neighborhood activities at nearly 100 sites across the city.

The Chicago Police Department has deployed an additional 1,200 uniformed and plainclothes officers. There are extra patrols on the CTA and along Lake Shore Drive and Michigan Avenue.

“We know we need to remain diligent, especially in the overnight hours,” Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said.

“We’ve all come together to make sure we use everything in our toolbox,” she said.

The new mayor joined police Supt. Eddie Johnson and the CTA president at the Chicago Avenue Red Line station Saturday afternoon. In the past, police said, the station has been a hot spot for large groups of young people causing disturbances downtown.

“This is a flashpoint,” Johnson said. “You’ll see a lot of police presence down in this area. As the mayor said, we welcome everybody to come down — but we won’t tolerate misbehaving.”

Johnson said officers have recovered more than 50 illegal guns since Friday. He said a truly successful weekend will have no shootings — but police are hoping to keep chipping away at the numbers until then.

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