NATO Security Group to sit down with Business Groups

With the NATO conference less than a month away, Chicago officials and security consultants are attempting to quell lingering fears among community organizations about the upcoming summit.

Crain’s Chicago Business reports security firm Hillard Heintze’s senior vice-president and managing director, Tom Kasza, is scheduled to hold a series of meetings this week with local business and housing groups. Kasza met Tuesday morning with the Apartment Building Owners and Managers Association. In the coming days, he’s also scheduled to meet with the Illinois Restaurant Association, Streeterville Association of Active Residents, and South Side Residents and Businesses, among others.

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“We are encouraging business owners to educate themselves about the summit and whether or not it will even impact their operations,” Mr. Kasza said in a statement to Crain’s. “That is exactly what our informational forums are designed to do: help address questions.”

Hillard Heintze, a Chicago-based security consulting firm, was contracted by the city to help run security during the summit. It’s headed by Chicago's former police superintendent, Terry Hillard, and Arnett Heintze, the former head of the Secret Service in Chicago. NBC Chicago’s Ward Room says both men met with Prairie District neighbors at the Second Presbyterian Church Monday evening, assuring more than 100 residents that the upcoming NATO summit would run smoothly.

"We traveled to over 20 countries for NATO summits in the past and we have not seen a pattern of concern that our community is expressing right now," Heintze told NBC.

The summit is scheduled for May 20 and 21.

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