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After carnival chaos, Tinley Park mayor discusses efforts to ensure safety at big events

After carnival chaos, Tinley Park mayor discusses efforts to ensure safety at big events
After carnival chaos, Tinley Park mayor discusses efforts to ensure safety at big events 02:32

TINLEY PARK (CBS) – Law enforcement is hoping to avoid a repeat of when hundreds of teens caused chaos at a festival last weekend in Tinley Park.

CBS 2's Jermont Terry spoke to leaders there about the lessons learned.

Last weekend, the teen takeover made its way from downtown Chicago to the southwest suburbs. Tinley Park police were caught off guard when nearly 400 youngsters took over a carnival in flash mob fashion.

"I personally don't consider it flash mobs," said Tinley Park Mayor Michael Glotz. "I just consider it causing chaos."

It was chaos that left many attending the carnival in fear. Officers wrestled with teenagers as they tried to maintain some order. Glotz shared why so many residents were originally upset by officers' actions.

"People thought we should be arresting them," he said. "They're juveniles. You can't arrest juveniles. You can hold them for a certain amount of time."

The mayor said 11 youngsters were detained, given citations, and forced to wait for their parents to pick them up. Many, he said, were not from Tinley Park.

"They came from some surrounding communities," he said. "They were some from Harvey, Matteson, Blue Island."

Some were also from Chicago. It's the unknown and fear that's forcing upcoming carnivals and festivals across the suburbs to put a halt to the rides.

In Evergreen Park, after 46 years, the Most Holy Redeemer Church told CBS 2:

"Following the recent incidents in downtown Chicago and Lombard, and especially the incident last weekend at the Carnival in Tinley Park, many of our parishioners expressed concern about safety at our annual Parish Carnival scheduled for June 15-18. After hearing the concerns of parishioners and consulting with the police, our Carnival Committee met. In the interest of safety, the decision was made to cancel the Carnival. We are meeting to try to come up with an alternative event to the Carnival that our people could enjoy instead."

Glotz said, "Obviously some of them have chosen to cancel. It's unfortunate."

The carnival in Tinley Park was cut short by a day last weekend. The mayor said when it comes to the July 4th celebrations and the upcoming rib festival, "We plan on moving forward with it."

He added the police department has already regrouped and those attending will see changes.

"We've already changed the whole protocol on how we're going to handle these," he said. "We're going to have checkpoints. I don't want to go too much into detail. People will know when they get here. We're gonna have the gag checks. Everyone will be wanded when they get here. We plan to make sure everything is secure here."

Glotz added police cleared the crowd last weekend in 45 minutes and that no one was hurt and there was no property damage. While unfortunate, he believes his police department is well prepared to handle all summer crowds.

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