Chicago, Il—As officers of the Third District were in the middle of a shift change a young imposter made himself at home, signed out a radio and got himself a citation book. He was assigned to a two officer car and hit the streets out on patrol. Since it is winter and his holster area is covered by a jacket nobody notices he has no gun.
In recent years Chicago police have begun dressing down, abandoning strict uniform requirements. Often no two officers are wearing the same uniforms. The trademark checkerboard field cap with the official and numbered shield has been sidelined for cheap baseball caps. It has been difficult to define just who the real police are anymore.
The imposter’s partner fails to notice he’s too young to be shaving yet or that anything is unusual. The lad was living out an adventure that could soon be a major motion picture!
The big question is how many other imposters could gain inside access to facilities, records and prisoners in lockups? When the ruse was discovered it became a national embarrassment for the Chicago Police Department.
The lapse here is a sign of a much bigger problem rule changes and new security measures will not cure. Political hacks and pretenders fill today’s command ranks. Returning to promotions by civil service testing with the elimination of affirmative action, clout or other contrived hiring criteria would be a great start.
You simply can’t hire and promote people who are unable to do that important job. Clout promotions of unworthy candidates are behind most of the difficulties that are making this department infamous.
Don’t expect real change here because Alderman Ed Burke and Mayor Daley have absolute power and absolute power-- well you know the rest.