CHICAGO (CBS) — Heading into the typically violent Memorial Day weekend, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot takes the wraps off her plans to fight violence.
CBS 2 political reporter Derrick Blakley asked what’s she doing different?
One potential Memorial Day hotspot is near Homan Avenue and Adams on the West Side, identified by holiday safety planners.
And resident Tyesha McDonald of the Lawndale neighborhood said she knows why.
“You hear all kinds of shooting. You hear violence, gun violence, everything. That’s whats’ going on, shooting,” said McDonald.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s summer violence plan includes an intense focus on 60 such hotspots citywide.
“We’re flooding the zone. We know the areas in the city we believe there are challenges and we’re going to make sure we’re physically present,” Lightfoot said. “That we’re engaging with people in those neighborhoods and that we’re bringing resources in those neighborhoods in particular where we have concerns about about any kind of conflict.”
Police will have 1,200 extra officers on duty, 40 assigned to a new CTA safety squad and 100 manning a fast-reaction task force. And police vow if rowdy youth head downtown, like on Easter, they’re ready.
“Everybody’s welcome on Michigan Avenue and we shouldn’t target people because of the way they look, or their age or their gender. That’s not right,” said Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson. “But I can tell is that if you come downtown and misbehave, you’ll be dealt with accordingly.”
But is that much different from efforts in previous years?
“We are providing specific resources on a department-by-department basis to support the effort of the community and also CPD. I think that is a difference maker,” Lightfoot said.
Still Lawndale residents said the real difference-maker would be long-term development.
“If you build facilities like park districts, workout places, bars and Starbucks like everybody else, it won’t be a hotspot,” said Lawndale resident Willie Love.
Mayor Lightfoot is also engaging faith leaders to get into the streets surrounding their houses of worship to actively engage people in their neighborhoods.
The city has complied a list 124 Memorial Day activities on this municipal website: chicago.gov/summer.