Security officials involved with the upcoming NATO Summit did their best Wednesday evening to calm the fears of residents in Streeterville, where many of the international delegates are expected to stay.
"Let me make this real clear. We are the Chicago Police Department and we are responsible for policing the streets of the city of Chicago," Deputy Supt. Debra Kirby told the hundreds gathered at the Ritz Carlton Chicago.
The meeting was organized by SOAR -- the Streeterville Organization of Active Residents -- and those gathered were given a list of "Top Ten Tips" for the summit. Among them:
- Mark your calendars. The summit is May 20-21.
- Stay informed. Check ChicagoNATO.org.
- Be Gracious Hosts. Chicago will have thousands of visitors needing directions and advice.
- Beware of motorcades. Many delegates will likely stay in Streeterville hotels and traveling to McCormick Place. Traffic delays are likely.
- Plan ahead, including activities that won't be spoiled by delays or security restrictions.
- Carry Identification. You'll need proof that you live in the area.
- Check with your building management. Special procedures may be in effect.
- Be alert. Be aware of what's going on around you and report suspicious activity.
- Have a back-up plan. Make plans with family, friends in the event of an emergency.
"This entire area is going to be extremely protected and safe," said Arnett Heintze, the former head of the Secret Service in Chicago.