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Violence Interrupters Team Helped Chicago Police During New Year’s Eve

A heightened police presence will be visible in downtown Chicago on Sunday as hundreds of thousands flock to the city’s New Year’s Eve celebrations and massive fireworks display along the lakefront.

Hours before the fireworks begin, football fans will descend on Soldier Field as the Bears take on the Atlanta Falcons at noon. Several hours later, at around 7:30 p.m., a custom projection will shine on the Merchandise Mart, highlighting snippets of artists’ works from the past five years.

Later on, one of the city’s most popular New Year’s Eve events, the Fireworks Spectacular at Navy Pier, will cap off the evening.

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At a news briefing regarding safety plans for the holiday weekend, Chicago police officials said the department is working in conjunction with the Office of Emergency Management and Communications to monitor all activities citywide. While police didn’t share specifics, they said to expect more officers out and about.

“We know it’ll be a busy night,” said Jon Hein, CPD’s incident commander for downtown NYE celebrations. “So we have additional officers and our specialized units deployed throughout the city and downtown area as always.”

Unlike with some past large-scale events, Chicago police said it wasn’t necessary to cancel officers’ days off to reach peak staffing — and officers will be “deployed accordingly” to cover the downtown area, neighborhoods and other areas of the city.

Violence Interrupters, a non-profit focused on combating gang violence and stopping shootings across Chicago, will be working hand-in-hand with police during the evening of festivities.

“Violence interrupters will be downtown and throughout the city to engage with public and youth,” Hein said.”…And I ask anyone, if they see something to please say something.”

If you’re planning to head downtown to ring in the New Year, there are several things to keep in mind.

With hundreds of people expected, traffic control employees will be on hand to minimize impacts and ensure safety for drivers and pedestrians.

While driving is an option, the city does recommend public transportation for the best experience. Free rides are available on CTA trains and buses from 10 p.m. Sunday until 4 a.m. Monday. CPD’s public transportation officers will be deployed throughout the transit system to provide assistance.

Source & Courtesy > NBC5 Chicago