Seven Chicago police officers broke department rules by allowing a boy, 14, to go on patrol with a two-year veteran officer for more than five hours in January, reports the Chicago Tribune, quoting Police Superintendent Jody Weis. The boy wore a novelty badge stolen from a uniform shop and almost a complete uniform. He drove the squad car for two hours, going out on five assignments, and he helped on a domestic arrest, holding a suspect’s arm as the real officer placed handcuffs on him. The boy was arrested after a sergeant noticed he wasn’t wearing a police star.
Weis wouldn’t identify the seven officers who will face discipline, saying punishment hasn’t been determined. None has been taken off active duty. That the teen drove the squad car galled Weis; the boy wasn’t old enough to drive. “In my mind it’s almost incomprehensible it could’ve happened. Unfortunately, it did,” Weis said. “It’s really disturbing, and that’s why we want to send a clear message that this cannot happen again.”