Police Hold Roll Call on Mag Mile - NBC Chicago
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Police Hold Roll Call on Mag Mile

Deputy Chief Eddie Johnson: Roll call shows that the police are committed to keeping Chicago safe over the holiday



    As the saying goes, when the mercury rises so does the crime.

    Chicago police showed that they are well prepared for both over the mid-week holiday, with a show of force Tuesday at around 5 p.m. near Water Tower Place.

    "What we want to emphasize is that police are committed to keeping the downtown area, as well as the city of Chicago, safe during this holiday period," Deputy Chief Eddie Johnson explained.

    Police expect large crowds of shoppers and beach-goers to amass along the Mag Mile over the holiday, so part of their strategy to preempt any crime is high visibility on Michigan Avenue as well as along the North Ave and Oak Street Beaches.

    "I'm proud to see the police officers around," said Streeterville resident Towanna Griggs. "They're here to serve and protect, so I'm very happy to see their presence out on Michigan Avenue."

    As recently as June 23, Michigan Avenue was the scene of a violent crime, when a man was shot in what police believed was an act of road rage.

    The shooting was just one in a series of violent acts around Chicago in recent weeks. Despite assertions from Supt. Garry McCarthy that his crime strategy is working, the hot weather seems to have brought out a rash of shootings and gang violence across the city.

    A spokesman for the Fraternal Order of Police, Pat Camden, has said that while weather isn't the cause of the recent rise in crime, it certainly may be part of it. When heat forces people outside there is simply more opportunity for potential violence, especially in areas without air conditioning.

    "The bottom line is you have more people outside and more opportunity for crime," Camden said. "Does the weather cause the crime? ... It's very difficult to say."

    Either way the message from McCarthy and the officers outside of Water Tower Tuesday was that if there are any problems on the Magnificent Mile Wednesday, weather-related or otherwise, they are ready to respond.