CHICAGO (AP) - Chicago police said Wednesday that officers will use lessons
learned after the Boston Marathon bombing as they promised tight security at
a Friday parade and rally to celebrate the Chicago Blackhawks’ Stanley Cup
Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said he’s been in touch with
Boston Police Department Commissioner Ed Davis. Boston police have given
Chicago police two in-depth briefings, he said.
“We’ve been discussing best practices in law enforcement based on what
happened in Boston,” McCarthy said.
Chicago police plan to search backpacks and large bags and use bomb-sniffing
dogs as a result of those discussions with Boston police. The bombers in
Boston placed explosives inside backpacks they then left along the marathon
Two million fans celebrated in downtown Chicago when the Blackhawks won the
2010 Stanley Cup, and this year’s event could draw similar crowds. McCarthy
also said the department, as they did during last year’s NATO summit, will
have uniformed and undercover officers working throughout the crowds as
well. McCarthy said the same police team who planned security for last
year’s NATO summit has been planning this rally for weeks.
“We’ve done this before,” McCarthy said.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel also stressed that Chicago’s police force has a
history of handling major events. The mayor said the department knows what
it is doing, as it showed during the NATO summit, in which its control of
the crowds of protesters was widely praised.
“The way we handled, as a city and particularly our police department, NATO
has become the blueprint and the template around the world, literally, how
you handle public safety in big events,” Emanuel said.
The parade is scheduled to begin at 10:30 a.m. with players riding atop
double-decker, open-air buses. The parade will end at Grant Park, where
there will be a rally. Authorities said the park can hold about 100,000 fans
but large screens will broadcast the rally for overflow crowds.
City officials encourage fans to take public transportation, not bring
restricted items and take precautions for warm weather.