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By Brandon via

Filed under ‘things we will never understand’, a reader sent us the above news clip that discusses the day in a life of an aviation officer at Chicago’s O’Hare and Midway airports. The recipe: sworn law enforcement officers who can’t carry firearms and are told to run and hide in the event of an active shooter situation or terrorist attack . . .

It’s seemingly the only location in the country where aviation officers are unarmed, making it even more ironic since it’s one of the busiest airports in the world.

O’Hare’s aviation officers are trained just as Chicago police are, meaning they are sworn officers, and all they want is to be allowed to carry a firearm just as any other law enforcement officer does. So in the event of any type of attack at either of Chicago’s airports, 300 Aviation Officers would be defenseless. That’s just not right.

Two of these aviation officers spoke with CNN in silhouette because they feared they would lose their jobs after speaking out. They tell the reporter that their training instructs them to run and hide because, after all, what else are they left to do without a firearm?

In one of the training videos, the instructions are perfectly clear; “If evacuation is not possible, you should find a place to hide where the active shooter is less likely to find you. Block entry to your hiding place and block the doors.”

If a serious event occurs, aviation officers must wait for Chicago police to arrive in order to help control the situation. It’s a unique setup that isn’t found at any other airports in the country.

When the reporter tried to speak with Richard Edgeworth, chief safety and security officer for the Chicago Department of Aviation about the policy, he did the same thing that he tells his aviation officers to do in the face of an armed threat: he ran and hid.

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  1. I saw this article on CNN and posted it to a local forum because of a quote from one of the officers claiming that they are sitting ducks without a gun. Welcome to the life of a private citizen…

    • These 300 officers were not apprised/aware of this policy at the time the were recruited or enlisted? That seems odd. I think I would have to be very desperate for a job before I would not have gotten up and walked out of the training session when they first broke this news to me.

      Also, if they are at least in theory fully trained LEOs, what is stopping them from walking away now and applying for work with a real police force that allows them to carry a sidearm?

  2. Even if I’m unarmed, as a uniformed LEO I am going to do everything I can to stop the threat, even if it means I die so that others have a better chance of living.

    I’m not alone as an officer in this line of thought, and I know MANY non LEO citizens who would do the same.

    • Too bad the people who make these policies aren’t more like you. This kind of policy is made so that if an unarmed police officer does give his life in a terrorist attack or active shooter, there’s not as much ground for a lawsuit against the department or state or airport or whoever is responsible for implementing and upholding those assinine restrictions, all the while its those same policy makers who know damn well an unarmed cop is either going to risk a felony packing his own private weapon or fight for the greater good unarmed. It’s fucking disgusting.

  3. Run and hide is pre 911 thinking. I don’t care who you are and what your armed with in an active shooter situation, loss of life Is minimized by attacking not running or hiding. Having law officers being trained to run and hide, even if they are unarmed, is shameful. We will all die someday, why not go down swinging protecting fellow man from evildoers?

    • I often fly through ORD. I suppose if anything goes down while I am transiting through there, I will do my best, unarmed, to protect my fellow travelers, and the Aviation Police Officers.

  4. Perhaps they may be better served if the Chicago aviation officers engage the offenders using their conflict resolution skills…

  5. Who are the cops riding Segways around O’Hare carrying DA Revolvers? I thought those were Chicago Airport Police. I lived in IL for years and few in and out of ORD a lot and can’t remember seeing any unarmed cops.

    • J, the Coppers on the Segways are the Real Police, CPD, you know, the killer Zombies that only shoot Black Utes. The Aviation Police are the feel good, look good, political police selected by politicians to receive tax money for showing up to work and to vote for the Democratic machine. Once upon a time, when the Aviation Police were first formed, in the pre-911 age, they were armed. But, after the first United 747 was “accidentally” shot, well the guns were taken away. But, remember that for CPD O’Hare is a plum job. One needs decades of seniority to get there. Its a great place to work in one’s waning years just before retirement. All you need to do is give directions, direct traffic and handle the occasional drunk on an international flight. So, you’re well protected at the airport. I hope this gives everyone a warm feeling the next time you’re in Chicago…………..

      • “I hope this gives everyone a warm feeling the next time you’re in Chicago …”

        It would … except I have chosen to never go to Chicago for the very reason of the insanity there.

        I can only wonder how many hundreds of millions of tourist dollars no longer flow into Chicago every year as a result.

      • I can without hesitation say that the TSA staff at O’Hare are the rudest and least understandable such of all the major US airports. Twice I’ve been interrogated by staff that, honestly, neither speak nor comprehend standard English. I assume this is a result of political hiring.

        I’m an East-coaster, but I wish every US airport hired its staff from Salt Lake City.

        Oh, and Happy New Year.

        • Maybe you should be a Westerner. It really is better out here. And we could use more freedom-minded people to offset the influx of lib/prog weenies.

  6. That’s because they’re not security Guards, they’re security Monitors. They don’t guard against active shooters, they just monitor and report active shooters.

  7. their training instructs them to run and hide because, after all, what else are they left to do without a firearm?

    Why don’t they throw up and piss themselves? It’s supposed to work for all the other women, so it should work for the aviation officers too.

    • They’re not completely defenseless . . . after all, they’re “armed with reason.”

  8. Haven’t flown in awhile(from Midway). Sadly this is not a currently running commercial or a SNL skit…life’s rough-and then you die(in Chicago).

    • Fortunately, in Chicago any dead aviation officers will still vote for many years post mortem. It’s called the Chicago Death Benefit.

  9. It’s a shame that these Aviation officers are not allowed to be armed.
    The people or persons for this decision are INSANE.

    If I were one of these officers at one of those Active Shooter situations, I would run all right.
    I would run to the personnel office as fast as I could and RESIGN.

  10. Thanks for sharing this information out guys, please share.. Its a total chaos , many officers are seeking other employment because of this nonsense. Its a damn shame to have too all because whomever is not allowing us to carry (City) won’t arm us. They take a reactive approach opposed to proactive.. I been working here for a few months and its just as you read.. Its full of political garbage.. Were trained and state certified LEOS many of us are combat Veterans from Iraq, Afghanistan, some both.. Many others work for surrounding suburban police departments as well.. I’ll be dammed if I deployed overseas came back alive and well and to be shot and killed all because of irresponsibility.. Please continue to share this information so that top officials can help us change this in order to protect our passengers, employees, and our selves.. Its a new day and age, the threat is real and well out there..

  11. What the heck us an aviation officer?

    They shouldn’t be armed. Clearly they are useless and should be disbanded.

  12. Anyone remember the warm fuzzy feeling of a bunch of Reservists carrying M-16’s after 9-11. If I recall they weren’t loaded as it turned out, which was probably a good thing.

    • Active duty bigotry is not pretty.

      Another, equally facile look at this:

      Those reservists are very responsible men who have real jobs and often are college students. In contrast, a large percent of active duty went to boot camp right after high school and have never had to be responsible for feeding themselves or doing anything more than shirk responsibility whenever they could get away with it.

  13. Wow that’s horrible! Now the cops know how it feels for armed citizens who pay taxes in the great state of Illinois after NRA contract lobbyist Donald Todd Vandermyde sold out to the anti-gun Chiefs of Police in Rep. Brandon Phelps “NRA backed” carry bill in 2013:

    Duty to Inform w/ criminal penalties of 6 MONTHS or 1 YEAR in jail, and no requirement that the “officer” who demands to know if you are armed has to be in uniform or on duty. Hey wait, the Chicago cops who drive up to the Wisconsin Dells to visit Dinosaur Gardens with their kids don’t even have to tell the Cheesehead police they are cops when they get stopped for a speeding ticket, much less that they are armed.

    Oh I forgot, LEOSA allows all cops nationwide to carry outside their jurisdiction. Retired flatfoots also, because no cop likes to take a bath without his piece. No militarized police state to see here, move along. Just think, their must be small town hicks in Congress just as crafty as Brandon Phelps who understand the Good Old Boy mentality and took it Federal! Yee-haw! It’s great to have a badge!

  14. I can’t help but think of Monty Python “Run away, Run away”

    Welcome to liberal gun control paradise.

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