As the new 10 PM curfew for teens began on Thursday, visitors are now greeted with metal detectors and security checkpoints as they enter the parks. While there have been security checkpoints in the past– mainly for large events in the park– this is the first time these measures have been enacted on an everyday basis.
The checkpoints come as Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced a 10 PM ban on minors entering Millennium Park unaccompanied. The new rule was put in place following violence in the park last weekend which ultimately led to a 16-year-old being killed.
All visitors will now need to enter through metal detectors, which is a change from the once open scene. Tourists mostly populate the downtown area and don’t seem to mind the extra security measures, but locals have called it out as embarrassing, making the park feel less accessible to the public. One Chicago local spoke about her disdain on Twitter, writing the following:
“Definitely not trying to go downtown for fun. Millenium Park now with checkpoints, more security. It makes it all feel less accessible.
— Lynda Lopez (@Lyndab08) May 20, 2022
The new curfew for minors has been met with backlash by city officials and activist groups. While the security measure comes in response to violence, nobody is certain how long the new security checkpoints will stay in the park.
[Featured photo via Shutterstock]