Chicago man: Officers caught sleeping in squad cars
April 23, 2010 (CHICAGO) (WLS) -- Chicago police have launched an investigation after a man came forward with video and pictures that appear to show two police officers sleeping in their squad cars Friday morning.
ABC7 Chicago obtained that video and the pictures and talked to the man, who did not want to be identified.
The pictures show one officer sitting in the passenger seat of a marked squad car, eyes closed, head back. One parking spot over, a photo shows another officer in the passenger seat of a squad roll; same situation.
The man who took the pictures calls himself a concerned citizen, and he say he did it because he was worried about the officers' safety, given what seemed to be happening.
"Here are two police officers sitting right in front of dead asleep. So, I'm thinking to myself whoa this is kind of strange," the man said.
It happened at about 3:20 a.m. Friday. The man says he works odd hours and went to the store for a snack when he was approached by a panhandler who startled him. He noticed the officers in their cars, while two other officers, he says, were inside the store talking and drinking coffee out of the line of sight.
The man also took video on his phone showing the proximity of the cars to the store, and he says the officers inside never noticed or questioned why he was taking pictures.
When he got back home, he says he called the district.
"Whoever the gentleman was that I talked to basically asked me what do you want me to do about it? Nothing. If you're not concerned about it..."
A Chicago police spokesperson issued a statement Friday night saying, "The Chicago Police Department does not condone inattention to duty in any form. Officers are expected to remain alert and be prepared at all times while on duty. This matter has been referred to command staff and appropriate corrective action will be taken. It is our obligation to ensure the safety of our officers and the residents of our city." Roderick Drew
The resident meantime says a police officer friend of his was killed in the line of duty several years ago, and he worried that sleeping officers could be easy targets.
"If you've ever been to a police funeral, you understand," the resident said.
While the officers were in squad cars, ABC7 Chicago was unable to determine if they were on duty or on break.
Officials declined to release the names of the officers. So, ABC7 was unable to ask them about the video and pictures.
The police union had no comment.
The resident says he watched the officers in their squads for about 15 minutes.
local, john garcia
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