CHICAGO (WLS) — With several festivals, concerts and lots going on over Labor Day weekend, Chicago police say they are stepping up patrols to keep everyone safe.
As they expect more people to congregate at the lake, they are focusing their efforts on beaches and parks, emphasizing safety near the water at all times.
WATCH: DPC Superintendent. David Brown discusses Labor Day public safety
“I’m actually here for the festival. I can’t wait to go, it’s later in the day,” said Anthony Pineda from New York.
North Avenue Beach public safety officials are urging people to be safe.
During Memorial Day, police arrested several people on this same beach as many flocked to the lake.
RELATED: Chicago officials urge safety along Lake Michigan after recent incidents
“It’s a good time to get out and get together, but we have to keep safety in mind,” Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown said.
“Lake Michigan is fun, but it can also be dangerous,” said Chicago Fire Department Assistant District Chief Jason Lach. “In recent weeks, the Chicago Fire Department has held several emergency runs for drowning victims and water injuries.”
With 560 search and rescues completed along Lake Michigan so far this year, the Coast Guard says Chicago is the third-highest city for water rescues.
“Unfortunately, out of these 560 cases, 29 people have not recovered. And that’s why I’m standing here today, it’s because I want to get home safely,” Commander Tom said. Pequignot, of the U.S. Coast Guard Sector of Lake Michigan. .
RELATED: 647 people drown every day. Here’s how to avoid being one of them
Warning of dangers on the water, the police are also adding more bike patrols and deploying additional resources at major events to keep everyone safe.
“We have reassigned some of our officers from office duties to field duties,” the superintendent said. said Brown.
“I feel a lot better,” Chicago resident Jordan Tran said. “During the 4th of July weekend I was here, I came to this beach. The police presence was great. I felt safe and I think we are trying to plan to go to the beach on Sunday, so we should also feel safe.”
The navy and dive team will also be on patrol over the weekend and ready to deploy as officials urge people not to swim alone and always wear a life jacket.
A beach hazard statement is in effect Labor Day weekend, according to the National Weather Service.
High waves up to six feet and dangerous currents are expected on Lake Michigan beaches.
The Beach Hazard statement will be in effect for Illinois beaches from 4 p.m. Saturday to 4 p.m. Sunday; and effective for Indiana beaches from 7 p.m. Saturday through 10 p.m. Sunday.
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