Riverwalk increases police and security presence to make people feel safe this summer
A team of Chicago police officers will be among the new sights greeting visitors at the downtown riverwalk this summer as the city tries to make sure tourists feel safe in the increasingly popular waterfront party zone. Six cops will be added to patrol from 2 p.m. to 1 a.m. daily. The increased police presence comes almost a year after two men were shot during an early morning argument on the riverwalk.
The June 2017 shooting happened after 2 a.m., so it’s not clear whether these new police patrols would have helped in that case. But city Fleet and Facilities Management Commissioner David Reynolds said the changes are about making people feel comfortable when the businesses are open and helping clear out the riverwalk after the bars and restaurants close for the day at 11 p.m. “This is a very busy venue, and it’s a place where people need to feel safe,” Reynolds said Wednesday. “So we want to make sure that when people — whether they’re tourists or citizens or whomever — that they feel like this is a place where they can come and enjoy the city.”
There also will be five security guards hired by the riverwalk’s management company, up from three last year.
An additional security supervisor will be on-site as well, Reynolds said. The security guards will be there around the clock, he said. On June 11, 2017, a 30-year-old man and a 28-year-old man were shot just before 2:05 a.m. on the riverwalk near Dearborn Street and Wacker Drive.
The victims were arguing with other men when the shooting started, police said. The shooting appeared to be related to a fight about a female, police said. Reynolds also said workers carrying portable noise monitors will be checking the decibel levels outside riverwalk venues, following complaints from nearby residents that they were getting blasted by loud music.
Downtown Ald. Brendan Reilly, 42nd, introduced a measure in January to ban broadcast or live music at alcohol-serving venues east of Michigan Avenue, which he termed a “sword of Damocles to make sure that they behave.” firstname.lastname@example.org