NORTHALSTED — Ald. Tom Tunney (44th) said he’s concerned the Police Department hasn’t planned enough or set aside enough officers to ensure this Sunday’s Pride Parade remains safe.
Tunney sent a letter to Supt. David Brown on Tuesday to ask for more police resources along the parade route throughout the weekend. The Police Department must boost the number of officers at the parade and in the area since there’s been a two-year lull in regular festivities and this could be the largest Pride in city history, Tunney wrote.
The two have not shared details about what kind of police presence will be at the parade.
But Brown, speaking at a Wednesday news conference, said the department has dedicated “extraordinary … resources to this year’s Pride, more than has ever been committed.” There are no threats against the parade, Brown said.
Brown will respond to Tunney in writing, he said
“We are planning for the worst, hoping for the best,” Brown said.
Northalsted has already seen “large, sometimes rowdy” crowds at night recently, Tunney wrote. He said he was “very troubled” by a large fight outside the bars early Monday after Pride Fest.
The fight happened 2:45 a.m. in the 3200 block of North Halsted Street, police said. Officers were responding to a large fight, and one of the officer’s backs was injured while he tried to arrest someone, police said. The officer was hospitalized in fair condition. No other injuries were reported.
Officers were outmanned and called for backup several times when trying to break up the fight, according to a Sun-Times report.
“[I] do not want to see it repeated,” Tunney wrote to Brown. “[I] am concerned that the ongoing issues with understaffing will make the Pride Parade unsafe for participants, spectators, and, importantly, our police officers, many of whom I understand will have been working more than a week without a day off to rest up and recharge.”
The Police Department has struggled with staffing, with more than 1,000 positions vacant at the agency.
The Pride Parade routinely attracts about 1 million people. It is returning this year after a two-year break due to the pandemic.
It will kick off noon Sunday at Montrose Avenue and Broadway in Uptown and make its way south, ending at Diversey Avenue and Sheridan Road.
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