City Outlines Plans For Ramped-Up Security At Pride Events

By Stephen Gossett in News on Jun 16, 2016 9:25PM

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Getty Images; Photo: Chung Sung-Jun

The Chicago Police Department announced ramped-up security last Sunday following after the Orlando massacre, in which 49 clubgoers, plus the shooter, were killed at gay nightclub Pulse in Orlando—the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. The department elaborated on Thursday in further detail how that security would be deployed for upcoming Pride events.

The department, alongside Federal Bureau of Investigation and city officials, announced that hundreds of additional officers will be stationed throughout Pride Fest and at the Pride Parade, which is scheduled for Sunday, June 26, at noon. Patrols will dispatched as some combination of uniformed officers, plain-clothes officers, bike patrols and K-9 units. The city will also be coordinating with state and federal law enforcement organizations, including the FBI and the Office of Emergency Management and Communications.

Rich Guidice, Managing Deputy Director of Operations for the Chicago Office of OEMC discussed the partnership: "Since the tragedy in Orlando, OEMC and the Chicago Police Department have met several times and we have adjusted resources and increased security measures so that the focus can remain on what Pride Fest and the Pride Parade are all about: the celebration of our LGBT community."

Superintendent Eddie Johnson reiterated that the department has not received any credible intelligence of threats against the LGBTQ community. "However, out of an abundance of caution following recent events, more resources have been deployed to the communities hosting these upcoming events, as well as near CTA stations, high-traffic areas in downtown and along the lakefront to ensure the safety and security of everyone involved in these large events," he said in a statement released Thursday.

The announcement was welcomed by Pride Parade coordinator Rich Pfeiffer. "We have had a great working relationship over the years with OEMC, CPD and CFD to make sure the necessary resources are in place to provide a memorable and safe experience for everyone at the Parade, and this year is no exception," he said.