Remember Die Hard 2, where Officer John McClane (Bruce Willis) saves Washington Dulles Airport from a rogue band of militant terrorists? Well apparently that’s not how they roll in Chicago.
If you see the aviation police running in Chicago, don’t assume they are running toward a dangerous situation to save the day. Instead, it’s just as likely that they are running away from it to hide. After all, that’s what the Chicago Aviation Police Department ‘s officers at Chicago’s O’Hare and Midway airports are told to do in their training in the event of an active shooter. Either evacuate or run and hide in a safe place.
So why would an officer who has sworn to protect others be told to run and hide? In short, it’s because he or she is as helpless as the average citizen in such a situation, without sufficient tools to address the danger. They look like “real” police, with their badges and uniforms, and they are certified by the state and have taken an oath. They are trained as police officers and reportedly are required to maintain annual state qualification to carry a weapon. Even given all of that though, they are not allowed to carry a weapon.
According to news sources, this makes them somewhat unique. Although other major airports in the U.S. use unarmed guards for extra eyes, these guards (unlike the officers in Chicago) are not sworn police. Many of the officers reportedly don’t like the distinction. Who can blame them given today’s post-9/11 environment.