(Katie Karpowicz/RedEye )
For Cubs fans, home opening day means flowing beer, baseball gear, and a healthy amount of hope.
But historically it’s also helped usher in a seasonal uptick in “quality of life” offenses around Lakeview's bars.
In anticipation of the opener and accompanying festivities, (some Wrigleyville bars plan to open in the early morning), the Chicago Police Department is posting extra bike-patrolling officers to the 19th District, which encompasses Wrigleyville, and will add a neighborhood patrol car, according to a newsletter Ald. Tom Tunney sent to 44th Ward community members Friday morning.
“There will be zero tolerance for drinking and urinating on the public way,” he wrote.
The additions come on the heels of a proposal from Mayor Rahm Emanuel to crackdown on quality of life offenses. The proposal, which the City Council is scheduled to vote on next week, would require offenders who don't pay their fines or show up for court on time to be fined double the maximum penalty for such offenses as gambling and public drinking and urination. They could also be sentenced to jail for up to six months.
Lakeview typically sees a rise in quality of life offenses during the spring and summer months, and the police department typically posts more officers to the area to compensate, according to Erin Duffy, director of community outreach for Tunney.
This year will likely be no different.
"It's the first big day for the cubs," she said. "There's warmer weather, more people outside, and increased traffic into Lakeview."
Police spokesman Adam Collins said the additional officers will be deployed as a bike team because bike officers can better navigate alleys and respond to areas with high traffic.
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