By Yana Kunichoff
Each time a new measure that the city of Chicago is preparing for the coming NATO and G8 summits is unveiled, the tension in the city ratchets up a notch. The latest news comes in the form of reports that Chicago has purchased face shields, and may be considering the implementation of airborne surveillance technology.
As part of the expanded powers given to Mayor Rahm Emanuel for the May summits, the city has authority to accept contracts for goods or services without approval of the City Council or the expected competitive bidding process. The face shields and aerial surveillance technology are the first use of this allowance.
Chicago police officers, and any law enforcement the city chooses to deputize under the measures put in place for NATO/G8, will be equipped with 3,000 new face shields that “will fit easily over gas masks,” according to The Chicago Sun-Times.
The nearly $200,000 contract with Super Seer, a Colorado-based company, was made as an “emergency purchase for the G8 summit,” according to Super Seer President Steve Smith.
Chicagoist also reported that Chicago will get the latest in aerial surveillance equipment, according to the press release from a company called Vislink:
The airborne units will transmit to four strategically located ground-based receiver sites providing city-wide coverage and the ability to simultaneously receive real-time images from two aircraft for viewing at the Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC) operations center. An additional three receive systems will be installed in the city’s mobile command vehicles to facilitate field operations.
These measures will be in addition to “snipers that will stand guard from above,” reported ABC. Overarching security jurisdiction for the summits, which have been designated a national security event, has already been handed over to the Secret Service.