It was suggested last year to arm Aviation Police and allow them to take over the police duties at the airports, allowing Chicago Police to be freed up to return to the streets. Within the last year the city issued balistic vests to Aviation Police for their safety. But as long as they remain unarmed, they cannot protect themselves or take over the police duties. They are still State Certified Poliice officers, who by Illinois requirements have to pass firearm qualificati9ons every year. Within the city we have numerous police departments which are the primary departments for certain agencies, which are assisted by Chicago Police only when needed, leaving Chicago Police to handle beat patrol, without being tied up policing these areas full time. The agencies include University of Chicago Police, UIC Police, Cook County Hospital Police, Metropolitan Sanitary District Police, State of Illinois Police, which patrol the State of Illinois building. All these Departments have full police powers, are armed and have the primary responsiblity for patrolling their individual areas. They also have the same training as the Aviation Police have. The City of Chicago is still in need of more Chicago Poloice on the street. Arming Aviation Police and allowing them to take over police powers on and around the airports is the quickest and by far the cheapest solution to adding the Chicago Police assigned there back to the streets at a time crime has risen dramatically. It is cheaper and quicker than hiring the same number of CPD officer's.
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