Chicago adds 200 police officers to downtown tourist area

Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown speaks at a news conference on Monday, July 27, 2020 in Chicago. (AP Photo/Teresa Crawford)

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UPDATED 9:50 AM PT — Thursday, July 30, 2020

More police officers have been deployed to the streets of Chicago as part of a citywide effort to stem violent crime in the area. According to reports, around 200 additional officers were sent to help patrol the city’s downtown tourist area.

A rise in violence, including stabbings, carjackings and fatal shootings, was to blame for the move.

One local alderman claimed crime has increased because criminals in the area are growing bolder.

“Right now, you just have people who believe that they can do things downtown without any fear that they’ll be arrested, reprimanded or face any consequences at all,” said Brian K. Hopkins.

On Wednesday alone, Chicago reported eleven people had been shot and one person was dead.

A protester attending a rally on Federal Plaza Thursday, July 23, 2020, raises her hand against a backdrop of the Dirksen Federal Building, after a collection of Chicago activists groups announced they are filing a federal lawsuit against the Chicago Police Department, Fraternal Order of Police, and the federal government, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

In response, Police Superintendent David Brown created a slew of new response teams, which are geared towards different issues plaguing the city. The new Critical Incident Response Team (CIRT) will help protect citizens’ right to demonstrate peacefully.

“CIRT consists of approximately 250 officers that focus not only special events and marches, but large gatherings and protecting First Amendment rights of peaceful protesters,” he explained.

According to Brown, the team will help keep demonstrations peaceful by protecting protesters from violent agitators, who are looking to incite riots. CIRT will also devote some of their response time to reports in the downtown area, where shootings have spiked.

Other teams have also been formed to engage in community outreach programs. They will reportedly assist in protecting and uplifting neighborhoods.

“Every week, the CSC team will partner with local block clubs, faith based organizations and community leaders to participate in peace marches, prayer circles, Operation Clean missions, food drives, COVID-19 resource distributions and more,” added Brown.

The police superintendent reiterated he hopes the teams will restore public trust in officers, who he has highlighted as peacekeepers.

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