Chicago's police union on Tuesday said an incident where an officer was mowed over by a man trying to get away from a roadside seat belt check demonstrates the need for more officers on the street.
"There has been an increase in attacks against Chicago police officers during a time when manpower levels are dangerously low. Now this officer gets himself hurt, that's one less officer on the street," said Fraternal Order of Police president Mike Shields.
Police officers were conducting a roadside seat belt check last week in the Weed Street area when one motorist, driving a Jaguar, not only refused to stop but ran over the officer. Another officer fired his gun at the vehicle, but the driver raced away.
Rodney Steele, 32, was later arrested after a high-speed chase on the Kennedy Expressway. He's been charged with attempted murder, aggravated battery and resisting arrest.
"This is one of the nice neighborhoods in the city of Chicago. Imagine one of the bad neighborhoods and what the officers have to experience," said Shields.
Police Supt. Garry McCarthy has said he believes the department has an acceptable number of officers and said they're trained to expect the unexpected.
"Every time that a police officer walks on the street, whether in plain clothes or in uniform -- and it's happened to all of us -- something comes out of left field. That's how we're trained -- we have to expect things like that to happen."