Watch CBS News

Chicago Pride Parade scales back as overstretched police department plans for summer

CBS News Live
CBS News Chicago Live

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Organizers of Chicago's LGBTQ+ Pride Parade announced plans Wednesday to scale back the annual event that attracts nearly 1 million people to the city's North Side. 

The move comes as the city continues to grapple with reduced police staffing after the pandemic left the department with 1,400 fewer officers than it had in 2020, according to a CBS Data Team analysis of Inspector General data. 

Chicago currently has almost 11,700 officers, according to April data from the IG's office.

An analysis of overtime data showed that the police department regularly staffed the parade with hundreds of officers on thousands of hours of overtime. The data, obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request, also showed that the city staffed the parade with roughly 1,000 officers in 2022 when the city had about 11,600 officers. Overtime data for 2023 was not immediately available.

The Chicago Police Department regularly cancels days off for officers to staff summer events such as the Democratic National Convention, Lollapalooza, Market Days, and now NASCAR. This is all while deploying officers to areas prone to increased gun violence in the summer months. 

"In discussions with the Chicago Department of Transportation, and Chicago Police Department, we were informed that the Chicago Pride Parade is downsizing this year due to safety and logistics concerns raised by the city," organizers wrote in an emailed release.

Organizers said the parade, which is set for Sunday, June 30, will be capped at 125 entries and start an hour earlier at 11 a.m.

"We understand there will be some disappointed groups that will not march with us this year; we extend a heartfelt thank you for your support and understanding," organizers said.

The Chicago Police Department referred comment to the Department of Transportation.

In an emailed statement, CDOT said they are honored that the Chicago Pride Parade is one of the largest and most successful LGBTQ+ celebrations in the country. 

"As with all major events in the city, we are constantly evaluating options to improve safety while also delivering the best experience for our visitors, residents, and community."

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.