Concerns About NATO Summit Violence Leave Chicago Guessing About Security
Are There Evacuation Plans In Place? Will Armed Security Forces Blanket Federal Buildings? Nobody Can Really Be Sure
April 29, 2012 8:18 PM CBS News
Residents who will be affected by the upcoming NATO summit attended an informational meeting in April. (CBS)
CHICAGO (CBS) As concerns about security grow in the run-up to the NATO summit, it’s becoming difficult to separate myth from reality.
Are there plans in place for a mass evacuation of downtown in the event of riots on May 20-21? A Red Cross memo out of Milwaukee indicates that there is.
Officials there have been asked to make plans to assist residents in the event of a mass exodus.
Chicago officials say the plan didn’t come from them. The U.S. Secret Service isn’t talking.
There also are reports that a heavily armed security team will start making a very public appearance around federal buildings in the Loop this week. Officials with the Chicago NATO host committee were completely in the dark. They had no reports of any such plans.
A source told CBS 2 that security forces in full battle gear would not be seen this week.
As for the Red Cross plan, CBS 2 News has obtained a copy of an e-mail sent to volunteers in the Milwaukee area.
It said the NATO summit “may create unrest or another national security incident. The American Red Cross in southeastern Wisconsin has been asked to place a number of shelters on standby in the event of evacuation of Chicago.”
According to a chapter spokesperson, the evacuation plan is not theirs alone.
“Our direction has come from the City of Chicago and the Secret Service,” she said.
Officials at Chicago’s Office of Emergency Management and Communication said the directive did not come from them.
The U.S. Secret Service did not return calls for comment.