Chicago Police Superintendent Jody Weis is not happy that a 14-year-old boy was able to impersonate a police officer and even go on patrol for several hours.
"When we have a security breach, we put our officers at risk and we put the public at risk," Superintendent Jody Weis said at a morning news conference. "And that cannot happen again."
Weis, who in past public appearances has appeared calm and unflappable, was clearly upset that a teen might put on a uniform, walk into a station, receive an assignment and spend five hours in a squad car with another officer without being confronted.
Not only did Weis promise a full investigation by the department and punishment for whoever was responsible for the "security breach," but he said he's asked the United States Secret Service to conduct its own probe of department procedures. The Secret Service, he said, has agreed to do so.
"We're very fortunate. We truly dodged a bullet on this. ... We have to plan for worst-case scenarios and we failed."
Weis said the department was lucky that the boy apparently just wanted to be a police officer.
"He went about it the wrong way, but he was not here to hurt anybody," Weis said. "But what if it wasn't that person?"
Earlier this week, Chicago Mayor Richard Daley demanded accountability from police supervisors who were on duty at the time. The boy has been charged as a juvenile.
"Where is the desk sergeant, the field lieutenant, the captain on duty?" an irked Daley said.
On Sunday, Chicago Police said the boy came dressed up in a regulation uniform and worked five hours of a shift at the Grand Crossing District police station. Because the teen had been in a "police explorer" program where he shadowed officers, he was able to follow procedures with out being noticed.
The 14-year-old was arrested in December, 2007 for impersonating a police officer and again last month at the Ford City shopping mall while wearing a police uniform.