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City Walking Through Taste of Chicago Mob Action Response

By Chuck Sudo in News on Jun 21, 2011 6:40PM

Taste of Chicago starts Friday and with the recent assaults in Streeterville still fresh in memory, City departments have started running through their response plans in the event the roving mobs make their way to Taste.

Office of Emergency Management and Communications executive director Gary Schenkel told the Sun-Times, “We worked through several situations and scenarios for the Taste of Chicago. We had the major players there. We communicated well. We walked through different scenarios and enhanced our capability to work together.”

The violence that marred Taste three years ago sent former Mayor Daley into one of his patented conniptions and led to a heavier Police Department presence at the festival, Metra and CTA stations.

But the issues of possible violence at Taste have been ongoing for years and are heightened in the wake of the Streeterville attacks. Grant Park Conservancy chair Bob O'Neil said the scaled down fireworks displays last year helped a bit in keeping the crowds away. With the only fireworks display for Independence Day weekend coming from Navy Pier on the 4th, even more may stay away from Taste.