Just more than three months out from the start of the concurrent NATO and G8 summits in Chicago, both private and public security are ramping up their training in preparation for what could be massive protests in the heart of the city's downtown area.
Tony Grano of Controlled Force, a group that trains Marines, police and private security groups alike, explained to Fox Chicago what some of those preparations are likely entailing.
Grano told Fox that the protesters will "need to be handled with kid gloves, but there's a job that still needs to be done, and that is to maintain order." Grano explained that officers are being trained to take arrestees down to the ground to handcuff them and remove them from the scene -- without the use of a weapon.
(Scroll down to watch a report on how security forces are preparing for the summits.)
The use of a baton, another trainer and former combat marine explained, is a last resort and the principal goal remains ensuring that police officers make it home at the end of the day.
As ABC Chicago reported last week, the Illinois State Crime Commission is beefing up its security force for the summits by actively recruiting Iraq and Afghanistan combat veterans to work for private security firms -- but not with Chicago police -- during the McCormick Place events.
Also preparing for the protests are the Anonymous. Echoing the recent call from Adbusters, the activist magazine that spurred on the start of the Occupy movement this summer, for 50,000 people to set up camp in Chicago to protest the summits in May, the Anonymous is calling on protesters to peacefully barricade Chicago beginning May 1 and throughout the rest of the month that follows, according to ABC.
"On May 1st we will flock to Chicago to occupy during the concurrent NATO and G8 summits," the Anonymous proclaimed via its apparent YouTube channel. "We will set up tents, barricades and kitchens and peacefully occupy Chicago for one month. ... We do not forgive. We do not forget. Expect us."
Concerns that the high costs of security at the NATO and G8 summits could dent the pocketbooks of Chicago taxpayers were addressed Tuesday by Ben Rhodes, deputy national security advisor, who said he was confident that the events "can go forward without a burden on the Chicago taxpayer," Crain's Chicago Business reports.
As for any presidential concern over the likelihood of protesters of the summits, Rhodes noted that protests have long been "factor[ed] into the equation" for those planning the events.
"We always know there are going to be security challenges and we always know there's going to be demonstrations," Rhodes said, according to Crain's. "We are confident that Chicago has more than the capability to deal with that."
Rhodes also revealed Tuesday that the world leaders brought together by the summits will largely focus their discussions on the winding down of troops in Afghanistan, NBC Chicago reports.
Meanwhile, others aren't as optimistic concerning particularly the city police force's bandwidth for handling protesters during the summits.
The Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce has instructed businesses in the Loop area, particularly those on State Street and North Michigan Avenue, should institute "24-hour security on the street" to help ensure their customers' safety. Where possible, Loop businesses are being told to allow their employees to work from home. Lori Healey, executive director of the NATO and G8 Host Committee, called such precautions part of a "disconcerting ... doomsday attitude" and stated that U.S. Secret Service is aiming "not to create a security state and to make sure Chicago can function as normally as possible."
Mike Shields, Fraternal Order of Police president, has complained that police are not being adequately trained for the upcoming summits. Shields urged the mayor to rely on any tools available "within the framework of the Constitution" to keep protesters under control, the Chicago Sun-Times reported last month.
"These rioters make a living on suing police officers every city that they go to," Shields told NBC Chicago. "What do you do when someone throws a Molotov cocktail, your way? Our officers aren’t being taught that."
WATCH a report on pre-NATO/G8 security trainings: