This started out as a Nomination for Hero Badge. As I looked into it I discovered that the issue described wasn’t an issue. What is on display is the dishonesty or incompetence of the press. Imagine that!
Chicago Airport Police patrol one of the busiest airports in the world. The Department of Aviation, Airport Police meet all the criteria of Illinois Police officers, except one. They are unarmed. The fact that the Aviation Police are unarmed has caused a great deal of consternation on CNN. About 99% of people who read this will be left with the impression that Chicago O’Hare and Chicago Midway Airports are unprotected. This is not true.
A posting on a job message board offers some insight into the police situation at Chicago airports. This represents the writer’s opinion. I suspect it has elements that are closer to the truth than the City would have you believe.
This Dept was created as a security dept for aviation years back and staffed with political hacks (some of which have been promoted to supervisors there). Some of the people that have been hired: People fired by CPD, Fired suburban coppers, people that couldn’t get hired anywhere else, years back had a guy that didn’t speak English, retired coppers and an 80 year old guy.
They kind of “evolved” into a PD because of FAA guidelines, but the job hasn’t changed from what it was, a good paying security gig, with a good pension. Kind of like having a ’92 Pontiac. No matter what sounds you put in it, or cool paint job you put on it, it’s still a ’92 Pontiac.
Don’t buy into what some of their guys say that they will be taking over ALL Police operations at the airports (never happen, by virtue of some of the people they’ve hired) . The people that have been hired over the years are not equipped to take over all LE at the airports from CPD.
Homeland Sec, FAA, grants have and probably will continue to be used to hire CPD to be used at the airports. With this economy, and with this Mayor, the cause that Aviation guys are championing to become the only LE at the airports may backfire on them and cause their job to be eliminated and them to be classified as “security guard” or “police aid” still unarmed and unsworn, making much less money than they do now, without a Police pension. There basically is too much baggage on that Dept. to turn everything over to them.
This Dept is comprised of people that want a good paying security job, people looking to get certified, people waiting to get on a traditional PD, people that can’t work anywhere else, and people that will spend their whole career there attempting to change the job to fit what they want..
The City made this Dept. what it is..
If one continues a magical mystery tour of the Internet, it soon emerges that the Chicago Police Department (CPD) is the primary law enforcement agency for both airports. This means there is a dedicated contingent of Chicago Police officers assigned to the airports with all the infrastructure and support they need. The CPD is supplemented in their efforts by Department of Aviation Police Officers, more commonly known everywhere else as “Security Guards”.
Move along people nothing to see here, just the City screwing the taxpayer by inflating job descriptions to justify higher pay and benefits.
The Department of Aviation Police are qualified by training to be certified Illinois Police officers. They attend the CPD Academy.
Aviation Security Officers Graduate from Chicago Police Department Academy
CHICAGO, August 24, 2012 – The Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) congratulates 10 Aviation Security Officers (ASO) who graduated from the Chicago Police Academy today as part of a Metropolitan Recruit ceremony for two classes of officers. The 10 ASOs are part of a group of 13 Aviation Security Officers who were hired in May to fill vacancies at O’Hare International Airport. All 13 ASOs are veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces and have extensive military and law enforcement experience from all four branches of service.
A lawsuit gives a Job Description of Aviation Police Officers. It describes the unique role that Department of Aviation police officers play at Chicago O’Hare and Midway Airport. They are an adjunct to the main law enforcement role performed by CPD. Given an active shooter situation they have more value as witnesses than as victims. By title they may be police officers, but by use and equipage they are not.
Once again the MSM in an effort to puff up a story, misleads the public and demonstrates their ignorance.