Fan safety at Wrigley Field is a top priority for the Chicago Cubs. In an effort to expand the perimeter of protection, the city council budget committee voted to accept money donated by the Chicago Cubs organization to put more security cameras around the baseball stadium.
Security and event staff are positioned throughout the perimeter of the ballpark at all Wrigley Field entrances. Metal detectors at all Wrigley Field gates are standardized and security procedures are in place to enhance security screening, including thorough bag checks. Now the Chicago Cubs are providing $1 million to expand the city’s extensive Operation Virtual Shield (OVS) network of cameras near the ballpark.
The city council budget committee approved the grant from the team to the city’s Office of Emergency Management and Communications. Budget Committee Chairman Ald. Carrie Austin said the need for the added security in high-profile public areas is self-evident.
As part of this expansion of perimeter security, approximately 30 new cameras will be installed on city-owned light poles near the North Side field. The additional cameras will serve to enhance the safety and security of the venue and allow Chicago’s Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC) to monitor the high traffic areas in communities adjacent to the ballpark. The cameras will become part of OEMC’s citywide network of security cameras.
Wrigleyville Alderman Tom Tunney, 44th ward, said the city and the team will work on the placement of the cameras, which cost around $30,000 each to buy and install. The new cameras won’t be installed for another 4 to 6 months, according to Tunney.
“This was the first step in getting these new cameras in place, and it’s just another step in the increased attention to the area around the park,” Tunney said.
In a statement about the need for the new cameras, Cubs spokesman Julian Green stated it will “strengthen safety and security around the ballpark.
“The installation of these new cameras will allow us to have eyes around the entire perimeter of the ballpark. That is a very huge step in strengthening ballpark security,” said Green.
The expansion will also increase OEMC’s ability to view additional areas of the city during an emergency situation.
The $1 million camera donation by the Chicago Cubs organization is the latest in a series of steps taken by the team to enhance security. In addition, the team also proposed to shut down the streets adjacent to the stadium, but Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Tunney have opposed that move because of how badly it would snarl traffic in the congested residential neighborhood.