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Old October 8, 2012, 06:12 AM   #1
Superhouse 15
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Tour of the SWAT team's armory. Wow!

My fire station sits between a prison, two jails, and two firing ranges, one public and one LEO. The Sheriff's Office was putting a couple dozen new hires through OC/CS training today and we were asked to stand by for EMS.

The new guys and girls get sprayed on the forehead with Freeze +P brand spray, then they run a bit, punch a dummy, run over to a punching bag and do knee strikes, do a weapon retention thing, shoot two Sim rounds at a 7 yard target, then cuff a downed dummy. Then they are free to wash off, cuss, choke, cry, etc. But anyway...

Afterwards I was asking one of the instructors about the blue Glock and the sims rounds and got to fire a couple at the steel target. That led in to a discussion about duty ammo (180gr Gold Dot .40, 55gr Federal bonded JSP in .233, Federal OO low recoil with Flite Control wad 12ga, and 102gr Gold Saber .380). Then that led to a discussion about ammo for a rifle I'm building for an officer in another agency, which eventually led me to thier armory....

At that point I believe I may have died and went to heaven. Imagine a rack of pre-1986 M16A1s, some FA, most semi. A couple of Colt Commandos, 40mm Penn Arms launchers, A half dozen AR15s (siezed guns) an Arsenal AK (seized) a couple of pistol grip Mossberg 500s (seized) various handguns and hunting rifles (siezed). They use the seized guns for scenario training and familiarization, and occasionally for spare parts. There was a rack of civillian paintball guns amd some Pepperball launchers and a half dozen LTL shotgun setups. There was also a rack of three MP5-Ns one of which had a suppressor ("oh, some factory rep dropped it off for us to test, but then he got fired or quit and they never asked for it back"). Oh, and the M60E3 and the M2 .50. Plus 250,000 rounds of .40 FMJ, 50,000 of framgible for the steel range, and 60,000 of Gold Dot. Plus cases of 9mm 147gr and stacks of 12ga. Arwen gun ammo, gas, pepperballs, etc. It was fascinating, a great learning experience, and all in all a good day spent with fellow gun nuts. I even got an invite to bring the kids over when its time drive the M113 APC around, my kids love those things. When they come to the station they get bored with fire trucks "lets go see the tanks dad!"

And no new hires were harmed, although there was some vomit and some whining. Taser day is in another month, we'll see what happens then.
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Old October 8, 2012, 01:46 PM   #2
drail
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Yeah, EVERY police dept. NEEDS suppressed MP5s, M2s and a APC. OK, maybe if your talking about Detroit or Chicago. Seems like a waste of funding to me. These are not SpecOps troops. They're cops.
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Old October 8, 2012, 03:29 PM   #3
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That is neat, but I'm with drail. there is something pretty disturbing about a police dept having an M60 and an M2
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Old October 8, 2012, 04:47 PM   #4
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Old October 8, 2012, 06:34 PM   #5
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Yeah, sounds like a nice arsenal, but crew served machine guns for the police?

Are there potential situations where they need to suppress things THAT hard? I can see the suppressed subgun; those would be quite good for those rare times when a dynamic entry is actually needed (they're rarer than these units seem to believe). I can even understand an armored vehicle for forces in major metro areas. But I just can't get behind the police getting belt feds... I can't imagine a situation where they won't be a greater danger to the populace with one of those than the criminals would be.
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Old October 8, 2012, 10:40 PM   #6
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Old October 8, 2012, 11:28 PM   #7
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I always wonder about security of places like this. I mean it seems with a lot of equipment that they simple don’t use that often things might just walk off.
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Old October 9, 2012, 09:26 AM   #8
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I always wonder about security of places like this. I mean it seems with a lot of equipment that they simple don’t use that often things might just walk off.
That's happened around here. The St. Charles County Sheriff's Department (outside St. Louis, MO) has a firing range and shoot house out in a rural part of the county. At that location they had containers with explosives and other things. Somebody broke in and stole some of the explosives. They were later recovered but it underscores the need for such items to be kept in a very secure location.
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Old October 9, 2012, 09:56 AM   #9
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Yup. The rural parts of St. Charles would not be a very secure location. I grew up in that area and there were some pretty scary guys runnin' the back roads in their rusted out Ford pickups (back in the 60s and 70s). That was just about when I started thinking that carrying a gun wasn't such a bad idea. I find it very disturbing to read of all of the accounts of police swat teams raiding houses and not having the correct address (or raiding an address given to them by some crackhead). Consider these guys showing up at your Mother's house some night all pumped up on adrenaline and loaded for full combat.

Last edited by drail; October 9, 2012 at 10:02 AM.
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Old October 9, 2012, 11:15 AM   #10
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As far as the M60 and M113 go there have been so many of those dx'd out of Army inventory the government was probably happy to get them off the books and out of a maintenance rotation.
It sure would be fun to try out those MP5's though.
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Old October 9, 2012, 12:45 PM   #11
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Its not terribly uncommon at least around here for an agency to have a number of NFA firearms. Some were purchased or they were given to the particular agency prior to the 86 ban, and they registered them in such such a way that they can not be transfered to non-law-enforcement.

I know of a couple of dealers that went out of business who "donated" the post-86 items to an agency as well. Some agencies just keep them locked up and they gather dust for the most part, but I guess its better then having them cut up in some ways.

The military did loan out a good number of m16's and some m14's through a law enforcement assistance program, unsure though what is currently available.

Just in case some are curious as to prices for some of these law enforcement firearms just do a google search. Here is a couple of flyers from the last few years.

www.centuryarms.com/law/Knob09-10_FINAL%20LR.pdf
With 1919a4 for $250.00, Colt m16's for $500.00 (btw this is a high price) etc.

http://www.centuryarms.com/law/Law%2...20Apr%2011.pdf
Multiple Ak varients from $200-$250.00 and other various things.

Law Enforcement only NFA weapons just dont seem to bring much money at all, so they tend to get just tossed in the back of the safe and almost forgot.

I do agree that some of it is overkill, as can be seen in the self propelled howitzer that Sheriff Joe has.

http://www.jpmagazine.com/eventcover.../photo_03.html

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Old October 9, 2012, 12:50 PM   #12
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M60E3
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Watch the second Resident Evil movie and see how well it ended for the SWAT looking guy with the M60E3
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Old October 9, 2012, 02:16 PM   #13
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A lot of times courts will take seized weapons and turn them over to police. Some judges do it to every gun that doesn't get returned. EVERY gun. From junk Saturday Night Specials to M60's. I highly doubt that the agency went out and bought an M60.

Our firearms unit has a bunch of strange stuff that they can never really get rid of, or use.

As for the 113, they are unarmed (usually) and good for rescuing people pinned down.
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Old October 9, 2012, 04:26 PM   #14
drail
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I am not real comfortable with the idea of a police agency that fills it's armories and coffers and garages with "free stuff" every time a raid is conducted. That type of operation could go terribly wrong.
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Old October 10, 2012, 03:15 PM   #15
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Did you read what I posted? The cops don't decide where the stuff goes most of the time. The courts do.
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Old October 10, 2012, 03:34 PM   #16
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Interesting that a lot of the same folks who are okay with us being able to own submachine guns/full-autos as citizens (as I am) aren't okay with the police having heavy stuff too.

They need to be on better or at least even footing with whatever criminals might get a hold of. I'm fine with my neighbor owning an MP5 and fine with my sheriff having one as well.
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Old October 10, 2012, 03:45 PM   #17
drail
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Maybe in Conn.
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Old October 10, 2012, 03:48 PM   #18
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Hello LockedBreech,,,

Quote:
Interesting that a lot of the same folks who are okay with us being able to own submachine guns/full-autos as citizens (as I am) aren't okay with the police having heavy stuff too.
I see your point,,,
It does seem like a double-standard.

I believe that most of the arguments against the cops having heavy weaponry comes from the fear that the local police departments are becoming more and more militarized in their operations.

This is something I am completely and totally against,,,
I am a citizen of the USA, I am not a civilian,,,
I'm not an enemy combatant.

More and more former military are being recruited into police departments,,,
They bring with then the skills/training to use these heavy weapons,,,
They don't understand why they should not be allowed them.

In many cases their attitude (from their training) is to put every person they encounter into submission,,,
This is perfectly acceptable in a hot combat zone but isn't proper in most citizen encounters,,,
I know I'm off subject just a bit, but the principle is exactly the same.

If a situation ever arises where M-60 machine guns are needed,,,
I want the Governor of my state to call in the National Guard to wield them.

I don't want to give my local police department any more excuses to act like a paramilitary occupation force.

I am pro solid law enforcement,,,
I am anti paramilitary police departments,,,
That's why I am against my local PD having heavy machine guns.

Aarond

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Old October 10, 2012, 04:09 PM   #19
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Neat stuff when their pounding someone else's door in huh.
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Old October 10, 2012, 04:42 PM   #20
LockedBreech
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aarondhgraham View Post
I see your point,,,
It does seem like a double-standard.

I believe that most of the arguments against the cops having heavy weaponry comes from the fear that the local police departments are becoming more and more militarized in their operations.

This is something I am completely and totally against,,,
I am a citizen of the USA, I am not a civilian,,,
I'm not an enemy combatant.

More and more former military are being recruited into police departments,,,
They bring with then the skills/training to use these heavy weapons,,,
They don't understand why they should not be allowed them.

In many cases their attitude (from their training) is to put every person they encounter into submission,,,
This is perfectly acceptable in a hot combat zone but isn't proper in most citizen encounters,,,
I know I'm off subject just a bit, but the principle is exactly the same.

If a situation ever arises where M-60 machine guns are needed,,,
I want the Governor of my state to call in the National Guard to wield them.

I don't want to give my local police department any more excuses to act like a paramilitary occupation force.

I am pro solid law enforcement,,,
I am anti paramilitary police departments,,,
That's why I am against my local PD having heavy machine guns.

Aarond

.
While I don't agree with all of your points, I agree with most, and as usual you're polite and well-reasoned. Respect, AaronD.
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Old October 10, 2012, 04:46 PM   #21
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The actual use of force in police-public contact situations is a very low base rate phenomenon - generally less than 3%. In this context, use of force includes everything from hand & foot strikes up the continuum to lethal force. Lethal force, by itself, occurs in substantially less than 1% of P-P encounters.

Now to be sure, police officers generally have a very low threshold of tolerance for "contempt of cop" and are wont to see anything less than immediate compliance as resistance. Push gets push back and the officer ups the level of force in the encounter - say from a simple request to a command directive. Thereafter, the push by the officer will match and exceed that of the unruly citizen.

It is problematic with returning veterans, especially those who were LE before, during, and after deployment. I personally think those officers have a tougher time re-assimilating into civilian life than vets who return to joe-jobs. The problem is inherent in the differing rules of engagement. It takes an LE officer longer to spool up in-country and transition from a gradually escalating use of force where lethal action is to be avoided until it can't be avoided. In combat, this can be fatal. Once fully spooled up, it takes a similarly long time to decompress once back in the world.

So, I don't think it is so much the paramilitary nature of LE, its always been that way. However, the us-vs-them mentality can be very problematic. For many officers it is simply safer and easier to assume every citizen is a booger eater until proven otherwise.

In large, professional agencies, the tactical team members are typically among the most mature and professional. I do worry about the tac guys from Awshucks County SO, who got their toys on a Homeland Sec grant and decided not to waste money on training.

On balance, I'm okay with LE having automatic weapons. Crew served is a bit much assuming it was not an item originally held in evidence. The APCs make perfect sense - I've hidden in one or two myself whilst trying to convince some yahoo not to off his whole family and then himself.

I do, however, agree with Aarond on this point. LE works for the citizenry AND derives its very authority to use force from that citizenry.
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Old October 10, 2012, 05:59 PM   #22
treg
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I have a little trouble with them having weapons not legal for their citizenry.
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Old October 10, 2012, 06:50 PM   #23
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Touche. I live in a state where the police can have anything they "need" but I cannot own a SBS or SBR.
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Old October 10, 2012, 06:57 PM   #24
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If I want to spend my money and buy a beltfed, that's up to me and my household.

When we're talking about agencies using our taxpayer dollars to acquire these machines that will not be needed unless something similar to Mumbai happens in Bumfudge, wherever; as a tax payer, I take offense to that wasteful spending.
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Old October 10, 2012, 07:33 PM   #25
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Quote:
Interesting that a lot of the same folks who are okay with us being able to own submachine guns/full-autos as citizens (as I am) aren't okay with the police having heavy stuff too.
My reasoning is twofold:

1) I'm of the opinion that if I can't own it, they don't get to own it. We're supposed to be a government of, by, and for the people, not a government that is over, above, and superior to the people.

2) I also have to ask what they plan to do with the things. What, exactly, is the role of the local police force? In order to pull it off, are they going to need the services of a crew served belt fed machine gun? Those are used for either fixed defense against an assaulting force or heavy suppression of an area while another force maneuvers against the enemies in that area. Short of a Mumbai-style attack (something highly unlikely), there's just no need for the police to have such things. In order to be effective with it they'll need to train with it, and if they're training for extremely highly unlikely events such as that (something that has yet to occur in the United States by regular criminals), they're NOT training for other events that they'll be far more likely to face. Therefore, with those weapons they're a distraction at best and a danger to themselves and the populace they're supposed to protect at worst. Submachine guns? Fine- even suppressed ones. Select fire capable infantry style small arms? OK, just know how to employ the things. Belt feds? That's probably a bit too much... better to hand that off to the National Guard- if it becomes necessary, they're going to be better equipped to handle it. The cops might as well have RPGs if they're going to use belt feds.

If I would have a belt-fed, my purpose would basically be amusement. The police have other, more pressing, needs to serve than just giggles while turning ammunition into spent brass and noise. If they're going to burn through ammo paid for by taxpayers, they need to do so to some useful purpose... amusement just doesn't rate for that.
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