Crosswalks newest undercover police beat

June 8, 2008 at 3:12 PM
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CHICAGO, June 8 (UPI) -- The upcoming use of undercover police officers at Chicago crosswalks may not be "Serpico," but is a safety necessity, police officials say.

While the undercover efforts pale in comparison to those in the 1973 police corruption movie, Chicago Police Department Traffic Department Cmdr. Robert Evans said the newest police focus is meant to ensure the safety of pedestrians, the Chicago Tribune reported Saturday.

The police official said officers will pose as civilians and issue warning citations to those drivers who do not give pedestrians the right of way at crosswalks.

Evans said while the undercover assignments may not be full of adventure that does not mean there is no risk involved.

"We are not going to put officers in jeopardy to make a point," Evans explained. "But any day you put on a police uniform, or put on plainclothes, you are taking risks."

Yet Chicago area resident Gary Hackley suggested the fault may actually lay with pedestrians.

"Chicagoans routinely wander across the middle of streets, engrossed in cell phone calls or sipping their coffee, and leave it to drivers to keep them safe," he told the Tribune.

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