'Run and hide' Chicago airport cops may soon be allowed firearms
Chicago's airports are the only ones in the country in which the aviation officers do not carry firearms
By Police1 Staff
CHICAGO — Aviation officers may soon be allowed to carry firearms under a new proposed ordinance, CNN reported.
The ordinance would change a policy that kept officers unarmed while on duty at O’Hare and Midway airports. The proposal has been spearheaded by Alderman Chris Taliaferro, who cited terrorists incidents occurring with unarmed cops.
“We are leaving our officers at a risk of harm. It leaves the city wide open to liability," Taliaferro told CNN. "This should have been done a long time ago."
A December investigation by the news site found all the 300 officers were unarmed and instructed to “run and hide” in the event of an active shooter. The officers are all state-certified with many also working in suburban departments.
"Because (aviation police officers) are unarmed, when they encounter an armed individual, they must request assistance from a Chicago police officer. Furthermore, there is a standing order that in the event of an active shooter, (aviation police officers) are to 'run and hide,' which is contrary to what police are trained to do," the proposed ordinance said.
Chicago’s airports are the only ones in the country in which the aviation officers do not carry firearms. The Chicago Aviation Department maintains that the existing security policy works and officers do not be to be armed.
The proposal will be reviewed by the city council’s public safety committee.