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CPD Issues Warning Ahead of Weekend Gatherings, Officials Tell Residents to Be ‘Vigilant'

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Chicago police on Friday issued a warning for those planning to come to the city to "engage in disorderly conduct or other crimes" following a chaotic weekend that saw large groups of teens arrested.

"You will be arrested," Chicago Police Supt. David Brown said during a press conference Friday to discuss the city's plans for public safety this weekend.

Chicago's top cop on Friday addressed the police department's plans for combatting violence in the city this weekend, nearly one week after a chaotic and violent Saturday night that saw shootings, beatings, arrests and more as police responded to large groups of youths downtown.

Brown said while anyone is welcome to come downtown to enjoy the city, those intent on committing crimes will be sought.

"Everyone is always welcome downtown, everyone is welcome to enjoy all that our city offers and the beautiful downtown district has to offer, from Millennium Park and the museums to street performers and the sparkling Christmas tree, the food - everything," he said. "Chicago belongs to all of us, but if you come downtown or anywhere else to engage in disorderly conduct or other crimes you will be arrested."

Police said they are prepared to deal with "any large gathering that may occur in Millennium Park" and additional personnel will be deployed across the city, including in retail corridors and in the Central Business District on Michigan Avenue.

CPD reminded residents that the city has a curfew ordinance, which begins at 11 p.m. for anyone between the ages of 12 and 16 on Fridays and Saturdays and at 9 p.m. for those under 12 years old.

Meanwhile, Chicago's Office of Emergency Management and Communications encouraged those in the city to "be safe and vigilant this holiday season, especially in crowds." The department also asked anyone who sees "suspicious activity" to report it to 911.

Police said that while they anticipated a large crowd of juveniles last Saturday, but did not specify if that is anticipated once again this weekend.

Last weekend, a 12-year-old girl and a 15-year-old boy were shot, a CTA bus driver was beaten, two officers were injured and nearly two dozens teens were arrested as police responded to large groups of youths who gathered in downtown Chicago.

Brown estimated roughly 500 kids, many of whom weren't violating the law, but called on parents to monitor their children.

"We can't just start making arrests if a kid comes downtown," Brown said, adding that many police are "having to be, you know, the parent, the person who tries to get the kid to do the right thing, trying to talk them down if they're getting into fights, but we ultimately will have to make an arrest and we will make an arrest and we likely will be more aggressive and make an arrest as soon as we see crumbly behavior."

"That is not the role of police to babysit people's kids," he added. "Parents should not be driving their kids from all parts of Chicagoland and dropping them off downtown. It' just irresponsible as a parent, particularly the younger kids we saw, that 10- 12-year-olds, 14-year-olds with no adult supervision."

The police department has already said it was canceling a regularly scheduled day off to help combat crime following the violent and chaotic weekend.

"To enhance public safety and to address current crime patterns, all full-duty sworn members will have one regular day off canceled," CPD said in a statement Monday.

Others are calling for increased security, specifically along Michigan Avenue, with a commercial tax hike proposed to increase safety. The measure has passed a City Council committee already and is set to head to the full council next week.

The Magnificent Mile Association met Monday evening to discuss ramping up security amid recent burglaries in the area.

In the last month, grab-and-run thefts have been reported at numerous Michigan Avenue stores, including Nieman Marcus, Canada Goose, North Face, Burberry and more.

On Saturday, the Chicago Transit Authority's bus drivers union said it plans to hold a "mass demonstration" along Michigan Avenue to demand added protection for bus drivers.

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