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Chicago preparing for G8 summit

CHICAGO, July 15 (UPI) -- Chicago will be ready for protesters when the city hosts the international Group of Eight summit next spring, police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said.

"We have to train for mass arrests," McCarthy told the Chicago Sun-Times. "We have to train 13,000 police officers in arrest procedures and containment procedures. At the same time, we will not stop patrolling the city."

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McCarthy said he would send police officials to Pittsburgh and Seattle to see how those cities dealt with large protests. About 35,000 people protested at a World Trade Organization meeting in Seattle in 1999, causing more than $2 million in damage to businesses.

Pittsburgh hosted a Group of 20 summit in 2009 where there were violent clashes between protesters and police.

McCarthy said he is working with several federal agencies, including the Secret Service and the State Department, in preparation for the May 15-22 summit.

President Barack Obama announced the high-level meetings were coming to Chicago last month. McCarthy said he met with his staff that day to start preparations.

"It's a great opportunity to showcase the professionalism of this agency," McCarthy said. "The entire department has to be prepared to respond to this event."

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