A police officer arrived at the Gresham District station and said he'd been sent over from his district. Made sense at the time, what with the need for greater manpower in some parts of Chicago as compared to other, less crime-ridden sections. The lad was in full uniform, and no one but a credentialed police officer could buy a full uniform, so he had to be legit.
He signed out a radio and a ticket book, and went off with a partner to patrol the streets of the city's south side. He was there when his partner pulled over traffic violators. He was there when the pair were called to settle a domestic dispute. He worked side by side with a regular Gresham District officer for a full five hour shift.
"You look a little too young to be a cop," a superior said when the new guy came back to the station. "Let's see your badge."
No badge. No proper credentials. No bullet-proof vest, for that matter. The vest cover was stuffed with newspaper to make it look like the real thing. No gun either, but he did have the holster strapped to his waist.
The would-be officer turned out to be a fourteen years of age, a lad who was very keen to be a cop when he grew up. He's been charged as a juvenile with the crime of impersonating an officer, and don't think he'll get off easy. The boy has thoroughly embarrassed the Chicago Police Department, and they don't find the whole thing the least bit amusing.
There's concern, naturally, about how he came to acquire a full uniform, since that would mean that just about any miscreant could do the same, go around pretending to be a policeman while committing various crimes.
But you have to give the boy credit for taking things into his own hands, for finding a way to realize his dream.
That's a modern day Horatio Alger tale, the child from the downtrodden Englewood district rising up to become an officer of the law. He has to start young, if he's to make detective sergeant by the time he twenty.