**Governor Pritzker Deploys Yellow-Vested ‘Peacekeepers’ to Chicago for Memorial Day Weekend**
In an urgent attempt to control potential violence over Memorial Day weekend, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker is sending teams of “peacekeepers” to patrol the streets of Chicago. With the community’s safety as the driving force behind this strategy, these outreach workers aim to de-escalate tensions and prevent any harm to our neighborhoods.
The Governor’s Office is employing this strategy in response to the recent calls to defund the police. As a result, maintaining peace on Chicago’s streets during the holiday weekend now falls on the shoulders of ordinary citizens. Despite the inherent risks associated with the task, these peacekeepers have been trained to handle large group incidents, in anticipation of gatherings that typically occur during Memorial Day weekend.
While existing operations in the city are neighborhood-based, Pritzker’s newly commissioned peacekeeper unit will have a mobile presence, allowing them to respond and work in various areas. CB2’s Tara Molina spoke with one peacekeeper, who is no stranger to this kind of work, as they prepare for the unofficial kickoff to summer.
To further control the bustling streets of the windy city, security checkpoints and fences have been set up around Millennium Park, and a new rule has been put in place, requiring visitors under 18 years of age to have adult supervision after 6 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays. If any unsupervised minors do gather, the peacekeeper unit, consisting of about 30 trained individuals, will be ready to handle and de-escalate the situation.
The deployment of peacekeepers raises concerns about ensuring their safety if they face violent incidents or are attacked. While the peacekeepers have undergone training, it hardly compares to the rigorous preparation that law enforcement officers receive.
**Deploying Peacekeepers: A Reactive Approach to Keeping Chicago Safe**
The decision to send peacekeepers to Chicago is a controversial yet necessary response to the ongoing debate about law enforcement and the community’s safety. Time will tell if these yellow-vested patrols can effectively maintain order and prevent violence over this Memorial Day weekend, as the city braces itself for the uncertain outcome.