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Police blog sparks debate after tape post

January 25, 2012|By Georgia Garvey, RedEye

A Chicago cop blog posts about tape, causing commenters to weigh in on covering badges during G-8 protests in May.

The post was vague, merely a picture of black electrical tape, the headline "Your New G-8 Best Friend" and some text about it covering "things."

But the commenters on the Second City Cop blog, popular with some Chicago police officers, seemed to know exactly to what the anonymous author was referring. They discussed ways to cover badges, name tags and identifying information on helmets during the upcoming G-8 Summit, to be held in Chicago May 19 and 20. The yearly meeting of eight major economic powers—Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, Russia and the U.S.—has drawn violent protests in the past.

The discussion came after a police officer recently was punished for covering identifying information on his uniform during an Occupy protest in Oakland.

Some commenters said that event was an example of how covering badges or names could be dangerous, but others alluded to ideas for how to better conceal their info.

"If you want to COVER SOMETHING you can find on the Internet tape that is POWDER BLUE," one commenter said. The Chicago Police uniform has a powder-blue shirt. Another person suggested wearing a black mourning band that would "accidentally" slip and cover a star number. Others said they should use fake names on badges.

The practice is prohibited by Chicago Police Department regulations, according to Melissa Stratton, director of News Affairs for the department.

"Supervisors will be accountable for ensuring that officers are properly uniformed, which includes identification," Stratton wrote in an email to RedEye.

The blog posted an update Wednesday saying the initial post was meant to suggest cops cover their squad car windows with tape to prevent flying glass.

"Nowhere, and we mean NOT A SINGLE (bleeping) INSTANCE, does the SCC blog advocate covering name tags with tape," the new post read.

An email seeking comment from the Second City Cop blog's email account was not returned. | @gcgarvey

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