CHICAGO, Ill. (WGN) — Chicago police announced Monday two new citywide teams will work to strengthen the department’s relationship with the community and respond to marches and other large gatherings.
Chicago Police Department Superintendent David Brown said a Community Safety Team made up of 300 officers will focus on interacting with South and West communities in a positive way, as well as respond to crime hot spots.
A Critical Incident Response Team made up of 250 officers will focus on special events, marches, and other large gatherings downtown and across the city. More Chicago News headlines from WGN
Brown said their job will be to protect the First Amendment rights of those participating in demonstrations, while also keeping people safe.
“This team is specially trained to make sure protests remain peaceful,” Brown said. “And we saw this play out just this past weekend as the CIRT team did a tremendous job ensuring that protesters were able to express their First Amendment rights without any major incidents. I’m confident in this leadership that we’ve placed in these new teams.”
CPD disbanded its roving response teams about 10 years ago over concerns about its aggressive approach.