CNN may give us more than a few reasons to question their coverage of national events from week to week, but they uncovered an important story over the holiday break dealing with the airport police at Chicago area airports. Years ago I used to fly through O’Hare on a fairly regular basis, but for the past couple of decades I normally go through Detroit so I haven’t had the chance to notice this myself. For those of you who do, did you ever notice something odd about the airport police there? They don’t have any guns. (CNN)
Matt Brandon, secretary-treasurer of the Service Employees International Union Local 73, which represents the aviation police officers, said he doesn’t understand why the officers are prohibited from carrying guns.
“And that’s amazing these men and women are sent to the Chicago police academy, and trained as police officers, and being a former police officer, I know your first instinct is to go to the problem — not run away from the problem,” Brandon said.
He said the union has been unable to get the aviation department to change the no gun policy, which dates to the early 1990s.
But if they don’t have guns, what are they supposed to do when some maniac or terrorist shows up and starts shooting up the tourists standing on line at the ticket counter? Never fear, citizens! There are departmental guidelines in place which instruct the airport police on the proper course of action. They should run and hide. No… that’s not a joke.
Hundreds of police officers at one of the country’s busiest airports say in the case of an active shooter, they are instructed to run and hide.
Internal aviation department documents obtained through department sources state, “If evacuation is not possible: hide.”
The documents advise locking doors, turning off lights and remaining quiet and calm.
“We must also ensure that unarmed security personnel … do not attempt to become part of the response, but could be invaluable to the evacuation efforts,” the documents said.
As CNN checked into it further, Chicago is virtually alone in this category. The cops at most all other American airports are armed and are there to be the tip of the spear when responding to a quickly developing, violent situation. But at O’Hare, the primary responders responsible for your safety are the Chicago police. The cops who were interviewed (under conditions of anonymity) for the CNN report were uniformly angry and dismayed. These are not Paul Blart, Mall Cop guys here. They’re fully trained police officers, many of whom also work second jobs with local police forces. They feel that being told to run and hide when danger arises is a complete betrayal of the oath they took and the principles of law enforcement.
Where did this policy come from originally? That’s not tough to imagine in Chi-Town. They don’t seem to want anyone to have guns aside from the gang members (who they curiously do almost nothing about for the most part) and that probably extends to any cops not under the direct control of the mayor. The city has been run by Democrats since roughly the civil war. The murder and shooting rates there make Kandahar Province look like a cozy, secure vacation destination. If a way can’t be found to talk some sense into the administration, you might want to take some advice from Daniel Greenfield and Escape from Chicago.