Looks like the Secret Service has some items in mind to keep Chicago safe during the May NATO summit.
Sand bags, crowd-control steel barricades, portable light towers, between 20,000 and 25,000 linear feet of fencing, and hard-hitting vehicle barriers are on a Secret Service bid request posted online April 10 for potential vendors. Bids are due by April 24.
In March, the city of Chicago purchased another 8,500 face shields intended to protect police officers during NATO. The city initially bought about 3,000 shields for $193,000 in February when the city was planning to host both the G8 and the NATO summits simultaneously.
Details are still streaming in about the May 20-21 summit that will draw world leaders and protesters to the Windy City, but other points remain unclear.
We know the summit will be held at McCormick Place, for example, but it's not known whether -- or how much -- area traffic or transit will be affected. We know leaders will stay at downtown hotels, but it's not clear what that means for Mag Mile business security or local weekend shoppers.
Some people in the city have raised concerns about likely protests. But the White House's decision to move the G-8 Summit from Chicago to Camp David has lessened some of the concern that things might turn violent.
“The Secret Service and the City has to be prepared for the worst case scenario," said former Chicago top cop Jody Weis. "So they’re just doing their due diligence. And they have to be ready to protect the city against the greatest possible threats.”