When outside agencies, such as suburban police departments, or federal agencies like the FBI or DEA, come into a Chicago Police District, they are supposed to notify the Watch Commander of that district. This is normal protocol out of respect, but more importantly, if something goes wrong, the district will already have the knowledge to assist them better. The following fiasco occurred when this protocol was ignored. We just started our afternoon shift in the 17th District when a radio call was broadcast about a small air plane having difficulty, and possibly trying to land in Horner Park. Naturally a call like that attracted a lot of attention. Soon afterward, Horner Park looked like the district station at check off. Almost all of the patrol cars
sped there and were now observing the small aircraft circling Horner Park. After numerous conversations about the situation over the police radio, we were finally ordered to return to our respective beats. It seemed that the Drug Enforcement Agency was conducting surveillance on a drug house a block west of the park. A large drug buy was about to go down, and part of their surveillance included the low flying spotter plane. They failed to notify the Chicago Police and as such, the surveillance was blown. Drug dealers have police scanners too.