Chicago unveils Election Day security plan spanning 10 days – serialpressit

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Chicago unveils Election Day security plan spanning 10 days

Chicago city leaders unveiled a 10-day Election Day preparedness plan Friday, after a summer of unrest, surges in violent crime and lockdowns amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

Mayor Lori Lightfoot said the city had been planning since the late summer, which she said was at times “humbling” but also “instructive.”

“We’ve been focused on two issues when it comes to Election Day,” Lightfoot told reporters. “First is election integrity. The second, of course, is public safety.”

The Chicago Police Department will increase patrols and days off will be canceled for officers department-wide for 10 days beginning Saturday, police Superintendent David Brown said. 

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The department also set up hotlines for business owners to voice safety concerns. 

“People in general have very high anxiety as it relates to the upcoming election and we understand that, and we are focused on ensuring our officers will work to de-escalate to calm tensions so that everyone is comfortable exercising their right to vote,” Brown said. “We’re also there to prevent lawlessness. There were be a zero tolerance (of) criminality during this time, and any time for that matter.”

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He said intelligence suggests a peaceful weekend, but that swift action will be taken against looters and anyone engaged in criminal behavior. 

Election officials are confident about the staffing in polling locations, said Marisel Hernandez, chairwoman of the Chicago Board of Elections.

More than 650,000 people in Chicago had voted as of Friday, she said. In addition, there was much support from voters ages 18 to 24 who have volunteered to serve as election judges, she said.  

“Not only do we have the judges of election assigned, but we have backup judges of election,” Hernandez said Friday at the news conference.

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Voters are required to wear masks, officials said. 

The Office of Emergency Management and Communications has conducted several training sessions to deal with coronavirus outbreaks, and protests related to the election, officials said.

“What we need to do is channel those emotions around the election into peaceful and productive activities,” Lightfoot said. 

The post Chicago unveils Election Day security plan spanning 10 days appeared first on Fox News.

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