Cop Investigated For Having A Personal Car Decked Out Like A Squad Car

By Kate Shepherd in News on Jan 26, 2016 6:40PM

A Chicago police officer has a personal car decked out like a squad car, in seeming violation of state law and CPD policy, a Skokie cop discovered in early January. Officials are investigating.

Officer Derek Saxton has been placed on desk duty as the investigation around his car unfolds, according to the Tribune.

"This is a very serious allegation, a very serious investigation and we have many questions for the individuals involved," police spokesperson Anthony Guglielmi told the Sun-Times Media Wire.

"In Chicago, we have no one permitted to have police equipment in their personal cars," Guglielmi added.

When the Skokie cop first spotted Saxton's car—a black 2014 Ford Taurus—he ran the car's plates, suspecting police impersonation, and discovered that the car was Saxton's personal vehicle.

Saxton's car had LED lights mounted on the front and back windshields, a spotlight, a siren, and front doors with what were labeled as 'ballistic panels,' according to accounts from the Sun-Times and the Tribune.

To make this already-strange story even strange, this is not the first time Saxton's car has gotten him in trouble.

Chicago police pulled Saxton over in 2007 while he was driving a black Ford Crown Victoria outfitted with flashing red lights. They suspected he was impersonating a police officer, and he was arrested for driving on a suspended license and illegal use of flashing lights.

He told officers at the time that he thought police cars "looked cool," according to Skokie police records.

The charges against him were eventually dropped and he was even hired by the CPD as a police officer in August 2012.

Now CPD's Bureau of Internal Affairs is reviewing the hiring process, investigating whether he properly disclosed his 2007 arrest when applying for his position; the results of his background check; and other issues, Gugliemi told the Sun-Times.