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Loop apartments get ready for worst of NATO, G-8

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Some downtown apartment building owners are being told to prepare for the worst when the NATO and G-8 summits come to Chicago.

Starting Wednesday, union workers have the opportunity to get training from a trade group representing more than 400 Chicago apartment building owners. The training sessions, reported earlier by WMAQ-TV in Chicago, are being organized by the Apartment Building Owners and Managers’ Association and SEIU Local 1.

Tom Dobry, who is heading up the training, said apartment building workers have been reassured by Chicago police and the Department of Homeland Security that everything will be “business as usual” during the summits on May 19-21. But he said his members - apartment janitors, doormen and maintenance workers - are still jilted by the prospect of thousands of protesters flooding the Loop.

But he said the lack of detailed security information makes it hard to prepare.

“The more information they put out there, the easier it’ll be for demonstrators and protesters to - to coordinate what they’re gonna do,” Dobry said. “So they are purposely, you know, not - not putting a lot of information out there. But that really doesn’t help our cause trying to get the information to the ... property managers and to the staff at the property.”

Dobry said he has faith that law enforcement will handle the summits well. Nonetheless, he said apartment building workers should already be lining up contracts for graffiti removal and window board-up services. Workers should also be ready to work long hours and battle with traffic jams as scores of high-security motorcades roll through the Loop on their way to the summit site at McCormick Place, Dobry said.

At a meeting of downtown Chicago office workers and building managers last week, top city and federal law enforcement officials urged people who live and work in the Loop to “calm down,” stressing that the extraordinary security measures during the overlapping world meetings will not bring downtown to a grinding halt.

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