A highly-trained and well-equipped mobile strike force of more than 100 suburban officers will be at the ready for any civil disobedience during the weekend's NATO Summit, NBC Chicago has learned.
Each suburb has contributed at least one officer and has helped pay for their special training and equipment for any NATO-related needs or any other event in the future. The officers will be headquartered in a secret location.
There has been some chatter of anarchist activity in the north suburbs this weekend against big banks, big business executives' homes and high-end store fronts.
"It doesn't surprise me at all. It's good planning on their part. What's not good planning on their part is to throw it up on a web page," said DePaul University terrorism expert Tom Mockaitis.
Officials created the force to fend off any protesters who may believe that police in Evanston, for example, will have their numbers dwindled with officers filling up the security ranks in Chicago. And even while other suburban towns may remain at full strength, many are still not properly staffed and trained for large, unruly mob action.
Some smaller municipalities, like the Village of Niles, have warned residents of possible NATO protest spill-over.
"In many ways, it's about the only idea you can use," Mockaitis said of the mobile force. "It's like firefighters. You don't have a firefighter assigned to every house. You have them centrally-located, and they have the ability to go where the fire is."
Suburban protests aren't unheard of. Riots last year in London after police shot and killed a man there spread to several suburbs, catching police off-guard.