Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Officers will be Disciplined
Seven Chicago police officers will be disciplined for allowing a 14-year-old to get away with impersonating a cop for a five-hour-plus tour of duty that included driving a squad car, police Supt. Jody Weis revealed today.
Weis would not reveal the recommended punishment for the officers, who, per union rules, must be given an opportunity to challenge the allegations. The punishment could range from reprimands to suspensions or firing.
The department also is continuing to try to identify the person responsible for snapping a picture of the handcuffed teen in a juvenile lock-up. The photo wound up on the front page of the Chicago Sun-Times.
Weis called the security breach “outrageous,” “angering” and “disturbing.”
“We cannot afford such a lapse,” he said. “We were fortunate that a lot of tragic things did not happen.”
Weis disclosed that the teenager arrived at the Grand Crossing District station at 1:30 p.m. on Jan. 24 wearing regulation police clothes. He was issued a police radio and assigned to a squad car with a female officer who has been on the job about two years. They patrolled for about 5 1/2 hours, Weis said.
The teenager drove the car for about two hours of the shift and helped handcuff a man suspected of violating an order of protection, Weis said.
Weis confirmed the teen also used a portable data terminal but said he did not write any tickets.
The department’s Internal Affairs Division reviewed surveillance tapes and conducted about 150 interviews as part of its 25-day investigation.
The teenager was arrested at about 7:30 p.m. Jan. 24, after he and the 40-year-old officer he rode with returned to the station and a supervisor realized he wasn’t wearing a badge or gun, Weis said. The partner had been on the job for two years.
SO EMBARRASSING if someone who worked with him for 5 hours would have used some common sense he wouldnt have been driving for 2 hours and riding on calls ! Such an observant police woman