The Chi-Town Squares perform as part of the Pride parade on Sunday, June 26, 2022. Dancing groups such as the Chi-town Squares and the Second City Outlaws offer a fun place to learn group dance within the LGBTQ+ community. This project is a visual ode to Chicago's queer spaces. The special places across town that are LGBTQ+ identified, where various members of the queer community can perhaps find a home, support and unpologetically be themselves. Credit: Kathleen Hinkel/Block Club Chicago
Credit: Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago

LAKEVIEW — Days off for Chicago Police officers were canceled this weekend, so the department can have more cops deployed to the city’s Pride Parade in Uptown and Lakeview, officials said Friday.

Interim Police Supt. Fred Waller met with local Ald. Bennett Lawson (44th) and Lakeview business leaders to review safety plans for Sunday’s parade and other Pride events this weekend.

The parade steps off at noon Sunday from Broadway and Montrose Avenue in Uptown. The route winds south through Lakeview, ending at Diversey Parkway and Cannon Drive.

RELATED: Everything You Need To Know About Chicago’s 2023 Pride Parade

Other Pride events on the North Side this weekend include the Chicago is a Drag Festival in Andersonville, Pride North and Back Lot Bash.

Interim Police Supt. Fred Waller told reporters days off were canceled so more officers can patrol the parade route. Credit: Jake Wittich/Block Club Chicago

The added police patrols come at a time when hate crimes against LGBTQ+ people are spiking nationwide amid a wave of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation. There was a 52 percent increase in anti-gay hate crimes in 2022 in the United States, according to The New York Times.

While no direct threats have been made against the parade, Waller told reporters Friday the department will “make sure all members of the LGBTQ+ community feel safe and protected during this parade and every day.”

Up to 200 additional officers will be deployed to the parade, while the “most experienced” officers are scheduled through Sunday night, Waller said. Undercover officers are also assigned to work within crowds of people watching the parade.

There were a few instances of late-night mayhem after the parade last year, including a shooting and a stabbing, as well as crowds of younger people overtaking the streets near the Belmont CTA station.

“We’ll have the manpower,” Waller said.

Lawson, who is marching in the parade with the other members of City Council’s LGBT Caucus, told reporters his office has worked closely with police and the Office of Emergency Management and Communications to ensure a safe event.

Parade organizers have said the extra officers will also help enforce parade rules, including ticketing people up to $1,000 for public alcohol consumption and public urination.

Read more on the parade’s logistics here.

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