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Posted: 1/26/2009 8:54:32 AM EDT

Teen goes on traffic patrol wearing real police uniform, but is unarmed, authorities say

By Angela Rozas, Jeremy Gorner and Azam Ahmed | Tribune reporters
   January 26, 2009

Chicago police arrested a 14-year-old boy for allegedly impersonating one of their own Saturday.

The boy, who has been charged as a juvenile for impersonating an officer, walked into the Grand Crossing District station, 7040 S. Cottage Grove Ave., dressed in a Chicago police uniform, police spokeswoman Monique Bond said. The boy, who reported for duty about 1:30 p.m., partnered with another police officer for about five hours.

The boy identified himself as an officer from another district but was detailed for the day to Grand Crossing and also was savvy enough to sign out a police radio and a ticket book, according to a source. The source also said the boy went on traffic stops with the officer he went on the street with.

Bond said the boy "did not write tickets" and said there was "no information to indicate that he [was] ever behind the wheel."

At an afternoon news conference, police said the boy had no interaction with the public.

After his tour was over, a ranking officer became suspicious of the boy. Police said the officer discovered the teen was not a real police officer when he couldn't produce any credentials. The boy was wearing police-issued pants, shirt, vest, sweater and skull cap, police said.

He was missing his police star, but that was not discovered until after he returned from traffic patrol. Police said the 14-year-old's partner on the traffic assignment did not recognize the boy was underage.

The source said the boy had an empty holster and a newspaper in place of a ballistic vest in his vest carrier.

Police described the boy as a former "police explorer," which means he was part of a community program run through the Police Department's Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy (CAPS) that allows youths to interact with Chicago police officers. He was part of the explorer program in 2008 in the Englewood District.

"The boy was not armed, and the matter is under investigation with Internal Affairs," Bond said.

Bond also said that how the boy acquired the police uniform was under investigation. Police officers need to present identification while acquiring their uniforms, police said.

The boy "has identified an egregious breach in security," Deputy Supt. of Patrol Dan Dugan said.

The boy, whom authorities did not identify since he's a juvenile, is scheduled to appear in Juvenile Court at 10 a.m. Monday.
Link Posted: 1/26/2009 8:56:32 AM EDT
I was reading about this today. I can't believe the kid was even able to get to the point of actually being on patrol with another cop. Hilarious, if a 14 year old can do it imagine someone with ill intent
Link Posted: 1/26/2009 8:56:38 AM EDT
Acting career in his future?
Link Posted: 1/26/2009 8:58:02 AM EDT
5 hours? Seriously?
Link Posted: 1/26/2009 8:58:52 AM EDT
Link Posted: 1/26/2009 8:58:58 AM EDT
Better I guess than impersonating a crack dealer or a serial killer
Link Posted: 1/26/2009 8:58:59 AM EDT
Nice police work there Chief, maybe next time a guy with peach fuzz shows up you'll let him be on the riot squad. I wonder how many people could actually get away with this or are currently doing it.
Link Posted: 1/26/2009 8:59:02 AM EDT
Chicago is just pissed this leaked out to the press!!!  Do you think the Army would get butt hurt if some poser wanted to play soldier and man a PR post.  Boots on the ground is a deterrent, even better if you don't have to pay them.
Link Posted: 1/26/2009 8:59:02 AM EDT
Link Posted: 1/26/2009 8:59:05 AM EDT
That's pretty smart work for a 14 year old.
Link Posted: 1/26/2009 8:59:23 AM EDT
Keep up the good work Chicago!
Link Posted: 1/26/2009 8:59:51 AM EDT
Found out he did not like Donuts.....
Link Posted: 1/26/2009 9:01:10 AM EDT
Talk about "condition:white" Wouldn't they do line up? How did no one notice they guy didn't have a gun? Good thing the guy he was patrolling with didn't get into any danger. But hell maybe the kid knows how to handle himself?
Link Posted: 1/26/2009 11:40:45 AM EDT
Link Posted: 1/26/2009 11:45:14 AM EDT
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