Many of you have reached out to share your concerns about recent incidents in Chicago. I can imagine how the events of this weekend may cause concern for you and your staff, and I want to provide assurances that steps are being taken to prevent further incidents.
We have been in contact with the Chicago Police Department (CPD) and they have indicated that they are taking these incidents seriously and enacting plans to keep all Chicagoans and visitors safe. They have provided assurances that they will be putting forward additional resources in response to the incidents this weekend. This includes increased police and command staff presence to respond to gatherings as well as utilizing their Strategic Decision Support Centers to monitor cameras and social media activity to assist in the proactive reallocation of resources when necessary. They will also be enforcing the curfew for minors that went into effect last year at Millennium Park and will be increasing visibility on the McCormick Place campus. CPD is also working closely with youth and outreach workers for when these gatherings occur. They have made it clear that all those engaging in criminal activity will be arrested and held accountable.
At Choose Chicago, we recognize that addressing public safety is of critical importance to our visitor economy and our partners across the hospitality industry. We all know that the national perception of Chicago does not match the reality – we are a spectacular, beautiful city that is enjoyed safely every day by millions of locals and visitors. At the same time, along with many of our peer cities across the country, we continue to face very serious public safety challenges that must be addressed.
We will be working to ensure that the incoming Mayoral administration understands that addressing both the reality and perception of public safety is a critical issue for Chicago’s visitor industry. Over the coming weeks and months, as summer approaches, we will also be working with our public safety colleagues to prepare and share new and updated resources to support all of our partners.
Thank you for your attention to this important matter, and please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions.
President and CEO