Cleophas Bradley, deputy regional director of the Federal Protective Service, explained the show of force Wednesday to workers most likely to be affected, those employed in a cluster of several dozen government office buildings in the downtown area, the Chicago Sun-Times reported Thursday.
Although the NATO Summit takes place May 20-21, law enforcement officials will begin deploying personnel, with weapons, throughout the area, dubbed "Operation Red Zone," next Tuesday.
The Federal Protection Service, working with federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, will have an undisclosed number of people on patrol, with "non-lethal" guns and in "battle dress uniform," Bradley said.
Bradley told employees to expect non-violent demonstrations leading up to the summit, including two planned protests on May 15 and 19.
"They have their work cut out for them. There are a fair amount of federal targets for protesters to make a point," said Jeff Cramer of Kroll Inc., which has been consulting with local businesses on securing their companies during the summit.
Cramer added the difficulty for law enforcement will be protecting the area but allowing business as usual within critical buildings, including courts and post offices, the newspaper said.