Law enforcement agencies step up security ahead of holiday

CHICAGO — Chicago and Illinois State Police are taking extra precautions and beefing up patrols on the streets and the expressways to make sure people stay safe over the Independence Day holiday.

“Beginning tonight and through the Fourth, expect to see a larger police presence through out the city, police superintendent Eddie Johnson said Tuesday at a news conference.

The Chicago Police Department will have 1,500 officers on patrol for the  holiday. More than 100 officers will be assigned specifically to monitor lakefront parks and paths. Several safety initiatives are also planned for Lake Shore Drive.

Nearly 50 high-definition security cameras have been installed at high-traffic CTA stops. Those cameras will be monitored by police live through the holiday weekend.

Superintendent Johnson also said he’s been in contact with community organizations to come up with a plan to address the situation.

“The fact of its, as a police superintendent and more importantly as a black man who grew up in this city, we don’t want to needlessly arrest young folks, but if they are acting in an inappropriate on they will be subject to arrest,” he said.

Illinois State Police is also increasing its presence on expressways with road side safety and DUI checks.

The ATF, the FBI and DEA are also working together in hopes of stemming the violence.  Superintendent Johnson said there is no credible threat to the city but he’s also not taking any chances.