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Chicago Aviation Police Chief Resigns After CNN Investigation Discloses Officers Are on Orders to Run and Hide In Case of Active Shooter Incidents at O’Hare

Fri April 08 2016 11:51 am
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Hundreds of police officers at one of the country’s busiest airports say that in the case of an active shooter, they are instructed to run and hide. CNN’s Drew Griffin investigates.

Aviation police chief Richard Edgeworth, who oversees aviation officers at O’Hare and Midway, is stepping down.

Edgeworth was the subject of a CNN investigation regarding why his officers are not allowed to carry guns or respond to an active shooter. He will leave the Chicago Department of Aviation on April 15, according to his resignation letter.

CNN revealed in December 2015 that the aviation police officers were not allowed to carry guns. The aviation police officers were also told to “run and hide” in the event of an active shooter incident occurred at the airports.

Aviation at O’Hare International and Midway International airports took a vote of no confidence against Edgeworth last year, saying morale had plummeted under his leadership.

Aviation officers were angered by an incident that occurred in September when their chief, they say, failed to back them up.

On September 9, 2016, Aviation Police officers were assisting Chicago Police by transporting the victim of an altercation to the CPD headquarters at O’Hare. According to Service Employees Union Local (SEIU) 73, which represents the Aviation Police, a Chicago Police lieutenant noticed that one of the aviation officers had an empty holster on his duty belt as the officers were departing the station. The lieutenant allegedly ordered that the aviation officer be detained and questioned about whether he had a weapon. When the Aviation officer responded that he did not have a weapon, the lieutenant ordered that his Department of Aviation vehicle be searched, and no weapon was discovered, according to the union.

The union called the Chicago police actions “insulting, demeaning, and unnecessary.”

A union spokesman explained that although aviation police are not allowed to carry weapons on the job, they are required annually to maintain state certification to carry a gun.

According to the official Chicago Department of Aviation website (, Edgeworth’s bio was described as follows on April 8, 2016 …

Richard Edgeworth is the Chief Safety and Security Officer for the Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA). Chief Edgeworth directly oversees and manages the Safety, Security and Emergency Management operations at O’Hare and Midway International Airports and is the primary liaison officer with all local, state and federal agencies. He is the federally designated Airport Security Coordinator (ASC). He served 28 years with the Chicago Fire Department and rose through the ranks to the position of Assistant Deputy Fire Commissioner prior to joining the CDA.

Chief Edgeworth has an Associates Degree in Fire Science from Chicago Citywide Colleges and a Baccalaureate of Applied Science Degree in Fire Science Management from Southern Illinois University. He holds several certifications from the Office of the State Fire Marshal (OSFM), National Fire Academy (NFA), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

See also …
CNN Guidance to unarmed aviation police: Run and hide

NBC Chicago Aviation Police Union Issues Angry Complaint After Alleged CPD Incident

AND Sebastian Maniscalco’s take on O’Hare International Airport security below …

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Checking In at the Airport | Sebastian Maniscalco: Aren’t You Embarrassed? feature compares security at O’Hare to Egypt, Lebanon, Beirut (Note: TSA is not the same as Chicago Department of Aviation Police).

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