The boy, who had once been a member of the "Police Explorers" youth club, apparently showed up at a South Side police station wearing a regulation uniform and claiming to be an officer. A police spokeswoman said that a sergeant "later questioned the boy" and discovered he was not what he claimed to be. True, but according to at least one report, "later" turned out to be several hours later, and only after the "rookie" had been assigned a partner and ridden along on a patrol.Then in Berlin two weeks ago, two children pretending to be paramilitaries were mistaken for thieves at a factory.
And finally, the Austrian Times reports that the police thwarted a ruthless band of teenage desperadoes who were dressing up in police uniforms and stopping motorists for speeding.
The police in Austria seem to be more on-the-ball than the Chicago police: the teens were caught when they stopped an off-duty policeman, who arrested them. (I liked their judge's money line: "I cannot believe anyone believed you were cops. I would have had a laughing fit!" Judges rarely get to make zingers like that except on TV.)
What's going on here? Is there some TV show that featured kids dressing up as policemen that gave teenagers a similar bad idea in three countries at the same time? Or should we blame the parents? I guess if starts happening in Iran, they'll blame Harry Potter.