No-fly zone over Chicago during NATO
May 2, 2012 (CHICAGO) (WLS) -- More details about the security measures that will be in place in Chicago during the NATO Summit are coming to light Wednesday.
President Barack Obama and other world leaders will be in town for the Summit Sunday, May 20, and there is news that a no-fly zone will be put into place around Chicago one day before.
The no-fly zone is part of a larger plan to tighten security in the city. Typically, when the president comes to visit, the FAA places a no-fly zone around the city, and that will be the case again. It will include a primary outer ring extending more than 30 miles from downtown and a secondary layer of secure airspace covering 10 miles surrounding McCormick Place and the Loop.
According to an FAA bulletin, aircrafts that enter into the no-fly zone will be intercepted.
Tuesday, Chicago police responded to a May Day march and rally in the Loop. Authorities estimate 1,000 people marched in a peaceful protest. The demonstration gave Chicago police officers a tune-up for what could be much larger and potentially violent protests during the NATO Summit.
"More and more practice is obviously something," said Supt. Garry McCarthy, Chicago Police Department. "More and more training is something that works for us. The officers here have done a lot of this downtown. This is Chicago. These things happen virtually on a daily basis here. These guys and gals are accustomed to doing this work, and they do it well. We didn't know how big the crowd was going to be. So, it wasn't necessarily a show of force. We made sure we had adequate resources to handle it, and we didn't even deploy everybody."
The rally and march came as federal law enforcement officers began enforcing the so-called Red Zone downtown, which is the area covering State Street, Adams, Franklin and Harrison. Officers are now patrolling those blocks that house government offices.
There are also restrictions at Burnham Harbor by McCormick Place. Boats cannot dock there until after May 24.
The U.S. Coast Guard will also place further restrictions in certain areas of the Chicago River and the lakefront closer to the start of the Summit.
local, jason knowles
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