Who Put The Brakes On Police ATVs?

CHICAGO (CBS) — Could Chicago police have a secret weapon to help fight mobs?

Sources tell CBS 2 there are about 20 brand-new police all-terrain vehicles, or ATVs, in storage. So, at a time when mob attacks are happening along the lakefront and downtown, why aren’t officers using them for patrols?

CBS 2’s Suzanne Le Mignot reports.

Sources say that inside a garage behind Area 1 Police Headquarters there are about 20 new police ATVs in storage.  

Officers already use this type of vehicles to patrol the lakefront.

Sources tell CBS 2 the ATVs are fully equipped. They have lights and sirens. But police are still waiting for the state to certify the vehicles to be used on the beach.

Once that happens, the ATVs can be transported to the beach and used on the lakefront.

“That they have some in storage is crazy, considering exactly those flash mobs that are occurring, right over here,” Chicagoan Stephani Casey said.

Some officers may have to be retrained on the vehicles, but the question remains: Why aren’t those vehicles in use to combat crime when mobs are attacking people downtown and the lakefront?

CBS 2 asked the Fraternal Order of Police that question.  Spokesperson Pat Camden responded: “If there are specialized vehicles sitting in a garage not being used, it could be because of the necessary manpower needed to be trained and to operate those vehicles. The bottom line is, the city needs to hire more police.”

There was also a scheduled training session for officers in April. A notice was given to officers who wanted to get training on the new four-wheelers.  But it was cancelled.

Chicago resident Gerald Raap says he’s seen the mobs of young kids on the beach. Raap says more police patrols on ATVs would make a difference.

“Oh definitely,” he said. “It does help and it’s a deterrent like anything else, when they see the cops.”

So what’s the hold up?  CBS 2 called and emailed Chicago Police News Affairs for a comment on this story numerous times Friday. The office eventually responded they were looking into the issue.

  • mrsmbhs

    “But police are still waiting for the state to certify the vehicles to be used on the beach”
    Doesn’t this statement answer your story? You seem to report that the state still needs to certify the vehicles, that is why they’re not being used.

  • billyd

    Yet another example of our highly efficient government bureaucracies hard at work for the citizenry.

  • billyd

    Oh, and how much friggin’ training do grownup people need to operate one of these things? 12 year-old kids manage it pretty well. So lame.

    • mbne

      Billyd, your 1st comment is true. Your second comment shows your ignorance, which is not a bad thing unless you make an uninformed opinion. 12 year olds don’t operate these ATV’s as patrol vehicles while attempting to make their way through crowds of people and traffic on the roadways all while attempting not to get killed by all the nit-wits out there. Its easy to be critical from the sidelines but until you get in the fight, perhaps take it a little easy on the cynical comments.

  • Bruce

    They can use the ATV’s to write parking tickets . They were saving them for a rainy day,

  • Heep

    waiting on the State oh my looks like they are holding this up for money or votes from Chicago so what else is new.

  • Darrell

    Armed citizens would also serve to deter crime on beaches and elsewhere as they have in many communities around the country.

    • Gerald Spencer

      Armed citizens haven’t deterred crimes anywhere. Occasionally they kill or main a perpetrator in the commission of a crime but deter, no way in hell.

  • Brian

    It’s time that Illinois had a concealed carry law. Then these thugs wouldn’t be so quick to attack someone

  • Luis

    Illinois needs a CCW law now. Funny how the City Council approved Daley the Younger’s new gun-control bill on a 45-0 vote – right after SCOTUS ruled in the McDonald v. Chicago case – and now aldermen are wringing their hands about these crimes.

    • Gerald Spencer

      What is the purpose of concealing a weapon? Fine for police to conceal weapons if they are undercover but why should anyone allow a drug addicted bar hopper to conceal a weapon?

      • Mark Able

        Your not very bright are you?

  • Gerald Spencer

    Look at the physical configuration of Oak Street Beach going north, can’t drive it, you have to leave the beach after the first two hundred yards. Multiple concrete tiers in many areas of the lakefront don’t make these vehicle pragmatic in all places.

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