Police Horses To Get Riot Gear For NATO/G8 Summits

CHICAGO (CBS) — When the NATO/G8 summits come around, Chicago Police horses will be outfitted with riot gear along with the officers riding them.

The Chicago Sun-Times is reporting the Emanuel administration is soliciting bids for “police horse riot gear and training aids” in preparation for the May 19-21 summits at McCormick Place.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Felicia Middlebrooks reports

The solicitation specifically requests: leather nose guards — 22 inches long and five inches wide — with “impact-absorbing foam”; clear, wrap-around visors to protect the horse’s eyes; 17-inch-long rear leg shields and 11-inch-long front leg shields, both made of “high-impact plastic” and soft foam; and “training aids” for horses, including a “crowd control training ball set.”

The mounted unit has 30 horses, 30 officers and an annual budget of nearly $2.7 million.

Police Department spokeswoman Melissa Stratton said all 30 horses will be equipped with the new riot gear. She noted that the horses are “great crowd control tools” expected to provide “significant support to officers on the ground” during the summits.

“This is not the first time we’ve had [riot] gear for the horses. [But] we are updating the equipment. We have had horses attacked in the past. If the horse is injured, it puts both the horse and the officer at risk. This equipment protects both the officer and the horse,” she said.

Fraternal Order of Police President Mike Shields agreed that, “The safety of the horses is paramount to the safety of the officers” riding horseback.

Last week, the Emanuel administration announced the purchase of about 3,000 protective face shields for police riot helmets from Colorado-based Super Seer Corp.

The FOP asked for the added protective gear, based on what has been seen at protests at previous international summits.

“People have been known to throw bags of urine, human feces, and also inflammatories at officers” Shields said last week. “The ones (face shields) that were issued over a decade ago allow for fluids to drip through.”

Shields said the new face shields have rubber insulation to prevent fluids from dripping on an officer’s face. They would also protect against harmful liquid chemicals or acids.

The shields also fit over gas masks that officers might wear during the protests, unlike the face shields now in use.

But despite the purchases, the FOP has said police officers are receiving insufficient training for the expected protests. Shields said a single day’s baton training isn’t enough.

Police Supt. Garry McCarthy responded last week that officers who will be involved with handling the protests will be getting more training and equipment.

McCarthy, city officials and summit organizers have been playing everything close to the vest when it comes to summit security.

But Shields revealed staffing plans that give a pretty good idea of how many officers are being assigned.

Normally, the Police Department has three 8-hour shifts of officers working each day. During the summits, two of those shifts will work 12-hour days and the third will be devoted solely to summit security, Shields said.

“We’ve been told around 2,500 officers,” will be on that detail, Shields said last week.

The Chicago Sun-Times contributed to this report, via the Sun-Times Media Wire.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2012. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

  • Hello I Am Mister Ed

    Does this riot gear make my horse ass look big???.

    • cflc

      The International Association of Horses and Canine Dogs(Cook County/Chicago Chapter) will file a complaint in Federal Court for mental stress and cost of living neglect. The horses and Dogs want a 30 percent raise over two years. They also want the City to pay for their riot gear and reduce the work day by an hour.

      • Silver

        My Boss, the Lone Ranger always treated me with respect.

  • Flicka

    So nice of them to send jumpy animals into a riot.

    Well, if that is going to be done, then aim the horse’s backsides at the rioters and have at it.

    • sbl

      LOL!!! Along with that, the best weapon to hold rioters back is bring in the cabs! They’ll run ’em all down.

  • http://chicagochristianradio.com/?p=1282 Chicago Police Horse ‘Riot Gear’: Emanuel Administration Seeks Horse Protection For NATO/G8 Summits – Huffington Post | Chicago Christian Radio

    […] Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) requested the additional gear, including the protection for horses, according to CBS Chicago. FOP President Mike Shields called […]

  • Afro

    The police are the only ones preparing for riots that I see, it sounds like a bunch of bullsh!t hype.

  • E M R L

    I thought Rahm and his staff were telling everybody including the business on Michigan Av. up until last week their was NOT going to be any trouble and only about 10,000 protestors. Do they know something we don’t or are they hidding something? I guess I’ll watch the carnage and distruction on You Tube from the riots in Canada at the last G8 summit! But we are holding BOTH summits G8 and NATO this year! You A$$ Rahm!

  • Afro

    could you imagine what it would be like, if the citizens showed up in riot gear and g@s masks?

  • dsn

    city should confiscate all pit bulls and use them against rioters.

  • Toonces

    This is gonna be a riot!


    We should all show as much support for NATO as we can. These Loser protesters don’t even know why they are protesting. It’s just a time to raise havoc and destroy things!!

    • saywhat3

      What good is Nato anyway? Rahm was stupid to bring this to Chicago, maybe he can steamroll CPS parents and union members. But the anarchists that are coming don’t give a flying fig about Rahm’s tough guy act.

  • JSC

    What, medieval armor isn’t still good enough for the horses?

  • Rob

    Once again the Sun Times repeats the City’s claim that protesters throw bags of urine.

    This has never happened. Not in Chicago, and not at any other protest. Go ahead, do better than the shoddy reporting and try to find one case.

    Rahmbo is using the Miami Model – Developed by Chief Timoney for the 2003 FTAA Summit, vilification of protesters, the warnings of extremism, and eventually the City of Chicago refusing people their first amendment rights.

    Five, six, seven years later the city will settle, apologize and cut another mufti-million dollar check for infringing on our rights.

  • Rich G.

    Its a sad state that we allow elected officials to trample over civil rights in general; but its a damn shame when an elected democrat acts like a fascist tea party member and strips away are civil rights so he can have tea with the ruling 1% of the globe as they decide the fate of poor nations and how to continue the suppression of basic human rights and dignity of our fellow mankind in third world and developing nations.

    • LOSERS!

      We should all show our support for NATO as well as the G8 members. The Loser protesters only want to cause trouble. It’s not about first amendment rights, it’s all about the act of protesting. They are low life thugs that travel for the opportunity to crewate caos. I hope they are dealt with like the criminals that they are!!!!!

      • Rich G.

        you ar e SO right we should rally around world repression. thanks for reminding me…oh and let me return the favor, switch off FOX news and try critical thinking for yourself.

  • Rich G.

    oh and way to go Chicago for electing such a Fascist Pig. thank god I moved just before elections. and “are” should have been “our” in the above post. My mind thinks better then my fingers.

  • MareCad TITANIC

    HOW can anyone put a beautiful Horse in such danger ? With all the terrorizing done to our Horses this is TOTALLY unacceptable!!!

  • http://protestintheusa.org/2012/02/23/economic-pain-in-u-s-killing-them-softly/ Economic Pain in U.S. – Killing Them Softly » » Protest In The USAProtest In The USA - a community of Protesting in the United States of America

    […] officials in Chicago are hiring.  They’re looking for more riot police in advance of May’s NATO/G8 convening.  Undoubtedly, […]

blog comments powered by Disqus
Daily Weather Reports Delivered To You!SIGN UP NOW: Get daily weather reports every morning from meteorologist Steve Baskerville!
CBS Sports Radio RoundupGet your latest sports talk from across the country.

Listen Live