Chicago police officers would serve as the the lead on all disturbance calls at city airports, including planes, to prevent another incident like the one on United flight 3411 in April, when O’Hare Aviation Security Officer dressed as a police officer dragged a passenger off the plane.
The policy change, which the city’s Department of Aviation will formally institute through a new directive, is one of several to come out of an external audit of the Aviation Department’s security division released Wednesday.
CDA Commissioner Ginger Evans commissioned the report in response to the public outrage of the forceful eviction of an airline passenger who refused to exit the plane in order to make room for United flight staff. Cell phone video footage of the encounter went viral, played on local and national television, as well as in the City Council Chambers during an Aviation Committee hearing held shortly after.
The 12-page report details planned upgrades to Aviation Department security procedures and which department has jurisdictional responsibility–an issue made particularly murky during that April 7th altercation when an Aviation security officer (ASO) was seen wearing a jacket with the word “Police”, even though ASOs are separate from the police department and are specifically barred from wearing jackets with Chicago Police Department markers.