Chicago calls out Cubs on Wrigley security problems – Consumer News

on Jun8

8 June 2017 | 7:00 pm

City Hall is calling an error on the world champion Chicago Cubs, saying the team has not done enough to secure Wrigley Field at a time of unprecedented concern about terrorist incidents around the world.

In a letter to Cubs President of Business Operations Crane Kenney, the head of the city’s Office of Emergency Management and Communications complained of little action on installing security barriers along Addison Street, developing a safety plan for the new sports plaza on Wrigley’s west side or integrating communications and cameras into the city’s police systems.

Read more: Cubs tying 900 seats to three new Wrigley club spaces

“As you continue to invest in upgrading the fan experience inside the stadium, it is our hope that you always will prioritize security,” Office of Emergency Management Executive Director Aalicia Tate-Nadeau wrote. “There are several outstanding security measures that require your prompt attention.”

Spokesmen for the team and its owners had no immediate response. They had been pushing the city to ban traffic for several hours on game days on Addison and Clark Streets, but Mayor Rahm Emanuel so far has balked, in part because of pressure from nearby residents.

Said a mayoral aide who asked not to be named, “We’re thrilled the Cubs are investing in the stadium and in the fan experience, but they have to prioritize investments in security. The city approved a number of security enhancements around Wrigley months ago, but we’ve seen no action. They still have not delivered a security plan for their new plaza. And yet at the same time the city is spending millions on security around the stadium.”

Specifically, the letter asks the team to:

* Retain a professional engineering firm to plan an up to 4-foot expansion of the sidewalk on the south side of Wrigley, into Addison Street. That area has unofficially widened via installation of temporary concrete barriers, but the city wants a longer-term solution and wants the team to pay for it, “including any necessary relocation of utilities.”

* Secure the new sports plaza. What’s needed, according to the letter, are “protocols for sheltering in place, evacuation and gate manipulation, as well as the need for a secure fence line between the retail shops and plaza.” With a capacity of holding more than 7,600 people, the plaza”presents an added level of complexity to securing the venue. I reiterate the request from the city’s public safety team for a comprehensive security and crowd management plan.”

* Act to “continue” integration of Wrigley cameras into Office of Emergency Management, and upgrade communications.

* Require that all off-duty police working the field have an easily identifiable uniform.

The letter also complains that it was not immediately notified of a recent death on the field. “At the present time,” it says, “the Cubs are responsible for making the decision about whether the incident is criminal in nature, not the police.”

Related:​ Cubs spending millions to expand surveillance around Wrigley

Update—Kenney is out with a statement, and it seems pretty clear that the dispute over whether or not to shut Addison and Clark on game days is at the center of the dispute.

He says, “The safety and security of our fans and the Wrigleyville neighborhood is our top priority. In the past year alone, we have committed more than $1 to expand OEMC’s camera network, invested millions of dollars into additional security personnel, provided canines and metal detection screening capabilities and added off-hours security on the streets of Lakeview.”

The statement continues, “The tragic events in Manchester, England, on the heels of the horrific event in Times Square, New York and elsewhere around the world, underscore the need to work together to provide adequate law enforcement. In contrast to Chicago, the City of Boston, of its own accord and without the Red Sox urging, this year closed streets around historic Fenway Park before, during and after Red Sox games. Major League Baseball, the Chicago Tribune, Congressman Quigley and others have joined us in calling for closing the remaining streets around the Friendly Confines.”

Letter to C. Kenney



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