Mar 20,2009 00:00
CHICAGO -- A police officers union says it will fight a move by Chicago aldermen to allow private security guards to write traffic tickets and other minor citations.
The Chicago Fraternal Order of Police called the idea dangerous and predicted it would wind up actually adding to the workload of busy patrol officers.
"They're not helping us,'' said FOP third vice president Greg Bella. "When you put somebody out there who does not know the job, it makes double work for us.''
The two aldermen who came up with the idea contend it will improve public safety by freeing up more time for officers to devote to other calls while security guards handled routine traffic violations in three Far South Side commercial strips.
The Chicago Tribune said the guards were hired to patrol the areas by local merchants who felt the need for more security. Alderman Anthony Beal said the guards would be more effective if they could cite traffic violators as well as graffiti vandals and loiterers.
Bella told the Chicago Sun-Times that a non-police officer writing someone a ticket might result in trouble since the guards would not have the authority to make arrests should a confrontation develop.
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