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Old July 5, 2014, 08:13 AM   #126
johnelmore
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In most police departments, the officers provide their own equipment with a few exceptions. The uniform, belt, sometimes the personal firearm, etc are bought by the officer. An automatic AR15 rifle is most, if not all, of the time purchased by the department. Obviously the car is not supplied by the officer although in some Southern states they let the officer take it home and use it as their personal vehicle. The reason for that is then it gives the appearance of more police on duty and the vehicles last longer when the officer has it all the time as their own POV.

The reason behind the officer providing for his own equipment is because the equipment then lasts longer when its officer owned. The department will usually provide a stipend to the officer which will reimburse them for at least some of the equipment. If the department owned all of the equipment then it wouldnt last as long. The equipment would then be used and abused. Costs would soar.

The typical officer spends thousands of dollars buying their own equipment.

That is an off topic part of this thread but I wanted to set the record straight on that issue for those concerned.
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Old July 5, 2014, 09:11 AM   #127
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An automatic AR15 rifle is most, if not all, of the time purchased by the department.
Say what?

Are fully automatic AR15 rifles being purchased by some officers themselves?
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Old July 5, 2014, 10:07 AM   #128
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Probably not but I left a little wiggle room in the event I was wrong. There are quite a few people out there with automatic rifles who managed to get all the paperwork through the powers that be. I think its possible although improbable that officers may own their own automatic weapons.
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Old July 5, 2014, 11:15 AM   #129
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Anyone know off-hand how many tens of thousands of dollars a transferrable select-fire AR rifle runs these days? I will say definitively, with no evidence to support it, that there are no police running their own transferrable AR's in the line of duty. Maybe if one's also an SOT (I assume police can also be SOT's), or something, they might be rocking a post-sample of theirs.

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Old July 5, 2014, 11:26 AM   #130
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As I have stated before, the entire process needs much greater scrutiny from a legal standpoint, and much more stringent guidelines must be adopted and adhered to.
Quite frankly, this is all I've ever wanted. I specifically object to police agencies acquiring new, more powerful, weapons and tactics, without there being a pairing with new checks on that authority amongst the populace. Without that pairing, we have just been witness to a shifting of the power balance between the people and the enforcers. Our whole system of governance is based upon the idea that we should seek to prevent that exact situation and maintain the balance at all costs. It was a given that by the time those costs became too great, the whole system would have crashed out into despotism already and the issue would be moot. See the founders' expectation of our nation failing several decades after independence; it was assumed we would not remain prosperous enough to maintain something as costly as liberty.

No knock raids would be fine if there were a publicly-accountable independent body charged with ensuring they could not be abused by discouraging their use as much as possible. That would relegate this tactic to situations where it is truly the only acceptable option for the specific circumstance. Sadly, we see too often that when we establish "special bodies" for determining when a controversial act is acceptable, they find common motive with those they regulate and turn into a mere rubber stamp.

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Old July 5, 2014, 12:43 PM   #131
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The Militarization or Police ... A Good Thing

In a word NO! that is not a good or necessary thing.
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Old July 5, 2014, 01:10 PM   #132
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It isn't a good thing, but it's necessary.

Police are being ambushed by nutjobs with high-capacity semi-autos and body armor, public ranges are full of sniper wannabees, and AR15 and AK variants sell like hotcakes, with a public that is hooked on mind- and mood-altering drugs, violent entertainment, and anti-establishment mindset.

They are reactive, not proactive. Overused, yes, but try getting a kid with a Corvette to drive the Geo Metro to the grocery store.
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Old July 6, 2014, 10:23 AM   #133
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Police are being ambushed by nutjobs with high-capacity semi-autos and body armor, public ranges are full of sniper wannabees, and AR15 and AK variants sell like hotcakes, with a public that is hooked on mind- and mood-altering drugs, violent entertainment, and anti-establishment mindset.

They are reactive, not proactive. Overused, yes, but try getting a kid with a Corvette to drive the Geo Metro to the grocery store.
Not sure if serious...but do tell about the problem with nutjobs attacking police officers with high-capacity semi auto rifles (you seem to imply rifles). Color me cynical, but I think we'd be hearing more about such incidents in the nightly news were they actually happening; FBI statistics of miniscule rifle use in crimes notwithstanding. As far as sniper-operators with military rifles on the range, and people hooked on mind altering drugs and subversive culture; would you be describing citizen shooters, the police, or both? Anti-establishment mood does not generally proliferate when the current one is serving peoples' needs effectively.

I do agree a full-auto P90 would probably be more tempting to use as a matter of course compared with a Remington 870 and sidearm. At least in my town, it would appear the check-out procedures for the MGs are onerous enough that I've never actually seen any of our fleet of FNH wonders.

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Old July 6, 2014, 11:38 AM   #134
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Color me cynical, but I think we'd be hearing more about such incidents in the nightly news were they actually happening
I agree. Not only would we be hearing about it, it would dominate the headlines. Such incidents would be a PR jackpot for the gun-control lobby.

There have been incidents, but they're somewhat isolated. That said, given the somewhat recent proliferation of so-called assault weapons in the civilian market, it can happen.
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Old July 6, 2014, 12:37 PM   #135
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To be honest, the same could be said for this whole notion of police needing to be equipped in expectation of encountering more than a couple isolated shooters at any incident response (major justification for things like armored vehicles and automatic weapons is they allow police to withstand multiple independent threats on-scene if needed, though these almost never bear out outside of full-blown organized terrorist attacks --for which our military's infrequent involvement would be wholly justified)

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Old July 6, 2014, 12:53 PM   #136
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Police are being ambushed by nutjobs with high-capacity semi-autos and body armor, public ranges are full of sniper wannabees, and AR15 and AK variants sell like hotcakes, with a public that is hooked on mind- and mood-altering drugs, violent entertainment, and anti-establishment mindset.
Really? Only a couple come to mind. LA bank robbery and the FBI rolling stake out in Miami.
Please elaborate with reports.
Maybe the SWAT teams need Bradley Fighting Vehicles then?
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Old July 6, 2014, 10:42 PM   #137
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Sadly, I'm sure some unit somewhere does already . A cursory Google search brings up "only" 6-wheeled Soviet-looking APVS, no Bradley's, though.

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Old July 7, 2014, 08:29 AM   #138
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--for which our military's infrequent involvement would be wholly justified)
So during one of these events, you want the "bad guys" to have free reign until such time as they can be determined to be foreign (as our military can't be used in a domestic police function as per Posse Comitatus) and then for the possibly hours it would take for a sufficiently trained ground unit to fly from whereever they may be based, trucked on site, get up to speed on the event including formulating a plan, and then enact that plan?

Of course, that does no good at all when it's the People's Liberation Army of Hackensack.
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Old July 7, 2014, 09:42 AM   #139
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So during one of these events, you want the "bad guys" to have free reign until such time as they can be determined to be foreign
A state level response would be better.
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Old July 7, 2014, 11:17 AM   #140
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--for which our military's infrequent involvement would be wholly justified)
No matter how infrequent would you also be willing to grant the military the immunity from our domestic laws they would have to have to operate as an effective military.

I am thinking this would require training and many other things that are probably not doable. Can you imagine the political outcry were they to even start. There is a wisdom in the military not operating on domestic soil.

As to the original OP, this is troubling in some regards for reasons already discussed. I am also thinking there are probably some areas where these vehicals are easier to justify such as very high crime areas, maybe some other areas for different reasons. The departments and elected persons in these departments who make these decisions still have to answer to the voter.
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Old July 7, 2014, 11:30 AM   #141
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A state level response would be better.
You mean a National Guard call-up that would avoid Posse Comitatus? If we had to wait for Joe, Bob, John, and Billy to leave work, drive to the Armory, suit up, and then drive to the Bank in Hollywood Hills, the robbers would still be filling pillowcases with money today.

There is a niche for these events that is not as well filled by one weekend a month volunteers or full time soldiers 3 states away.
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Old July 7, 2014, 12:36 PM   #142
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Of course, that does no good at all when it's the People's Liberation Army of Hackensack.
That would involve insurrection, for which a military response would be justified.

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There is a niche for these events that is not as well filled by one weekend a month volunteers or full time soldiers 3 states away.
Yes, but the alternative is to give broad domestic policing powers to the military, which is something we don't want to do. Such a measure would lead to standing armies, and one needs only to read up on Roman history to see the potential for abuse and oppression.
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Old July 7, 2014, 03:48 PM   #143
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Originally Posted by motorhead09022
I will always argue that if they can have such equipment, so can I. Police have M16's? Fine, but where's mine, without an NFA required?
Law enforcement acquisition of NFA-regulated items is still regulated by the NFA. I am not an NFA expert, and most NFA items are banned by state law where I live, but if I had to make a guess, I would say the acquisition of NFA items by law enforcement agencies is a bit analogous to using a trust to acquire NFA items, which you can do as Joe Sixpack.

I will also admit that I may be wrong on this next point, but I have heard that most or all of the M16s surplused to law enforcement agencies have had the auto sears removed, in which case there is no practical difference between LE equipment and the rifles in your safe.

Again, my complaint is that A. Many of the people complaining about law enforcement getting military surplus equipment are making their complaints solely based on cosmetic complaints rather than complaints about substance, and B. That's the same argument that the Brady Campaign, MAIG, and MDA are all making against the same guns.

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Originally Posted by barnbwt
Forget 'need' for a moment since it is distracting; for what purpose would a police force want militaristic equipment, weapons, and tactics? What would they likely tend toward given these elements?
Again you are talking about cosmetic features. Do you want to be able to own a tank (you can!), body armor (you can!) or an AR-15 (you can!)? Given that you can do these things, why do you care if the police have a Bearcat and surplused M16s?

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Originally Posted by barnbwt
Poster Me: I know my weapons will not be used offensively against human beings. I know my weapons were paid for with my own money. I know my personal choices in guns have zero impact on the community at large. I know I reject the concept that anyone should be able to go about in peaceful society with militaristic regalia and weaponry without scorn, though their actions be legally permitted. And that goes double for police, who, besides being 'ordinary civilians' like the rest of us, are not paying for their kit, either.
Are you saying that laws should be determined based on what each of us know about ourselves? Maybe we could have a blanket waiver. It could go something like "I am hereby not bound by any legal restrictions on what I can possess, based on the well established legal principle that, well, I know I won't do anything bad with them."

There are a lot of good reasons why restrictions on private ownership of item X should be loosened or eliminated, but "Barnbwt says he knows in his heart he won't do anything bad with it" is not one of them.

As to your last point, many police agencies do in fact require officers to purchase their own firearms, and some agencies require them to purchase much more than that.

What possible reason would there be for a community to pay to have a police department and not also pay for the equipment necessary to do that job?

Maybe those physicists at CERN should have to buy their own particle accelerators as a condition of employment.

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Old July 7, 2014, 04:33 PM   #144
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I will also admit that I may be wrong on this next point, but I have heard that most or all of the M16s surplused to law enforcement agencies have had the auto sears removed, in which case there is no practical difference between LE equipment and the rifles in your safe.
That may be true in some cases, but many departments have fully automatic M4 and M16 rifles for SWAT teams.

Quote:
Again, my complaint is that A. Many of the people complaining about law enforcement getting military surplus equipment are making their complaints solely based on cosmetic complaints rather than complaints about substance, and B. That's the same argument that the Brady Campaign, MAIG, and MDA are all making against the same guns.
No it isn't. While individual officers cannot own post-1986 machine guns, departments can own them. They can be issued or perhaps borrowed by officers, but they are not and cannot be registered to the officers as individuals.
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Old July 7, 2014, 07:21 PM   #145
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What I am most concerned and upset about are the mistakes these guys make and the increasing number of innocents who are going to die because domestic Cops are being given increased firepower. You too could be driving down the street, delivering newspapers, only to have your vehicle shot up by trigger happy police. http://rt.com/usa/lapd-dorner-shooting-review-738/ It was lucky the women survived, but in the future, it could be 20 mm cannon rounds, RPG’s, grenades, etc, being launched by nervous Cops, and it is highly probably that with 100 cannon rounds through your truck, you won’t make it out alive. I think we have all read of the flash grenade thrown on top of an infant in the cradle. http://www.salon.com/2014/06/24/a_sw..._year_old_son/ These Cops were not even in the right house, and I have read a number of incidents, fatal to the innocent, where Cops have stormed into the wrong house, guns a blazing.
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Old July 7, 2014, 08:01 PM   #146
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The problem is not the firepower per se, it's the lack of accountability. The cops are given "qualified immunity" (almost untouchable, all they have to say is "officer safety" and they're dealt a get out of jail free card and are judgement proof.) The judges who rubberstamp the dubious warrants and the prosecutors who push for them have SOVEREIGN immunity. "It's good to be The King"

At some point it will be pitchforks time. Tough to determine when exactly that is, tho', and you kind of have to get it right because you have no such immunity.

When we start seeing cops who throw grenades in cribs and then lie about it prosecuted and convicted, (or shooting up a pickup with 2 Asian ladies because they wanted to kill a big black man in a different color SUV, or entering a fenced backyard w/o a warrant and no probable cause then shooting the dog because it was big and scary, or plainclothes deputies dressed like gangsters in a Cadillac Escalade shooting a Baptist pastor when he flees after they try to carjack him) this nonsense will magically stop on its own.
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Old July 7, 2014, 08:55 PM   #147
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When we start seeing cops who throw grenades in cribs and then lie about it prosecuted and convicted (...)
These things are nothing new. They have happened for as long as society has delegated law-enforcement powers to a group of people.

You can prevent abuses through good screening and good training, but they'll still happen. Our system allows for oversight and for punishment when abuses take place. Is it 100%? No.

But what's the alternative?
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Old July 7, 2014, 10:56 PM   #148
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Again you are talking about cosmetic features. Do you want to be able to own a tank (you can!), body armor (you can!) or an AR-15 (you can!)? Given that you can do these things, why do you care if the police have a Bearcat and surplused M16s?
Read over this train of thought again; there's a significant non-cosmetic difference in an AR15 and an M16, so I'm not sure what point you are trying to make. Military equipment is military equipment because it allows military capability and tactics; that makes it functionally different from 'civilian' counterparts so limited.

Quote:
Are you saying that laws should be determined based on what each of us know about ourselves?
Yes, it is called individual liberty and an assumption of innocence under the law. It is based in the notion that people are generally good and do not seek to harm each other, so laws can be constructed giving individuals the benefit of the doubt until proven otherwise in a court of law. Not allowing me to purchase a newly made, affordable, M16 under any circumstance as a private citizen because of what I might do (because the Registry closure made it blatantly apparent it was never about regulation/revenue but prohibition) is an assumption of guilt before a crime is even committed.

Quote:
There are a lot of good reasons why restrictions on private ownership of item X should be loosened or eliminated, but "Barnbwt says he knows in his heart he won't do anything bad with it" is not one of them.
Sheesh, read it with your name and come back to me. That quote there is the fundamental reason I can even think of trusting others with what I should be entrusted with; they are at least as trustworthy as I.

Quote:
Maybe those physicists at CERN should have to buy their own particle accelerators as a condition of employment.
Think how many officers wouldn't have to buy their own guns if it weren't for that giant boondoggle powered by dump trucks of flaming grant money?

Quote:
The problem is not the firepower per se, it's the lack of accountability. The cops are given "qualified immunity" (almost untouchable, all they have to say is "officer safety" and they're dealt a get out of jail free card and are judgement proof.)
What we need is some mechanism by which the police can use these tactics, but at the risk of increased personal and department liability for their actions. If I can be jailed for mis-charging my time on a federal contract, a SWAT crew that raids the wrong address should have some skin in the game as well. That way, "getting home safe" also entails doing their jobs responsibly in addition to killing the bad guy before he gets a shot off.

Limited immunity protection while engaged in enhanced enforcement procedures would curtail a lot of the needless behavior, at least the profit-seeking portions.
"Wanna bring along the flash bangs?" "Nah, we don't know where everyone is in there well enough to chance it"
"Are you sure this is the right address? We don't wanna pay for another door and dead dog..."

TCB
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Old July 7, 2014, 11:00 PM   #149
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You can prevent abuses through good screening and good training, but they'll still happen. Our system allows for oversight and for punishment when abuses take place. Is it 100%? No.
How about 10%?
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Old July 8, 2014, 10:51 AM   #150
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Originally Posted by Tom Servo
That may be true in some cases, but many departments have fully automatic M4 and M16 rifles for SWAT teams.
I don't doubt this is the case, but I would be interested in knowing proportionally what percentage of patrol rifles for regular officers and carbines used by SWAT teams are select-fire, as knowing this for a fact would obviously change the parameters of the debate. I am guessing that the overwhelming majority of them are not select-fire.

Quote:
Originally Posted by barnbwt
Read over this train of thought again; there's a significant non-cosmetic difference in an AR15 and an M16, so I'm not sure what point you are trying to make. Military equipment is military equipment because it allows military capability and tactics; that makes it functionally different from 'civilian' counterparts so limited.
My point in the specific case of an AR-15 vs. an M16 is that if the M16s have had the auto sears removed, there is no effective difference. To specifically address the NFA question regarding post-86 machine guns, it seems to be your position that if you can't have all the fun toys, nobody should be able to have all the fun toys.

I don't really have a problem with your view except that fulfilling it is utterly implausible- regardless of the relative virtue of the argument, there is no conceivable circumstance in which LE toys are going to be taken away until the NFA is repealed. I can understand and am not unsympathetic to your view as regards the NFA.

My opinion is that the NFA should be repealed, but I don't see any benefit to depriving those people and agencies who either can spend the time and money to comply with the NFA or who are not bound by parts of it just because I can't do the same.

Outside the confines of the NFA, your argument gets even more specious. What does it matter if a large LE agency runs a civilian-sourced Bell Jetranger or MD500 as opposed to a federal government-surplused UH-1? They're all helicopters. None of them are armed. There is no practical difference in capability, other than the fact that the people riding in the Jetranger are less likely to get cold.

Why does anyone care if a LE agency gets a surplused Bearcat? Someone, unsure if it was you, said it mattered because you "...can't destroy a building with an armored Crown Victoria."

That's preposterous. You can destroy a building with civilian armored Brinks truck based on a Ford Econoline just as effectively as with a military 1152-series uparmored Humvee, and likely with equally detrimental results to both vehicles as well as the building.

And again, so what? There aren't any legal restrictions on you owning any of that stuff- if you want a surplused UH-1 or Bearcat, you could probably get one if you had the moolah.

Quote:
Originally Posted by barnbwt
Yes, it is called individual liberty and an assumption of innocence under the law. It is based in the notion that people are generally good and do not seek to harm each other, so laws can be constructed giving individuals the benefit of the doubt until proven otherwise in a court of law. Not allowing me to purchase a newly made, affordable, M16 under any circumstance as a private citizen because of what I might do (because the Registry closure made it blatantly apparent it was never about regulation/revenue but prohibition) is an assumption of guilt before a crime is even committed.
I see what you're getting at, but I don't think that the presumption of innocence under the law has anything to do with your personal feelings, nor do I think that your personal feelings should have anything to do with the law.

Again, I don't disagree with you in thinking the NFA should be repealed, but I also don't take it as a personal insult that it was enacted. By that logic, enacting a speed limit is also a blanket assumption of guilt before a crime has been committed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by barnbwt
Think how many officers wouldn't have to buy their own guns if it weren't for that giant boondoggle powered by dump trucks of flaming grant money?
Either you don't know much about government funding (and it seems you should given what you have intimated about your background), or you haven't thought this through very thoroughly. Policies requiring officers to buy their own guns are enacted for a lot of reasons, not all of which are budgetary. I personally would prefer to work for an agency where I could choose my own equipment to match my preference.

Beyond that, federal funding for federal surplus equipment given to local agencies as a grant has little or nothing to do with local funding for department-issued sidearms.

Quote:
Originally Posted by barnbwt
What we need is some mechanism by which the police can use these tactics, but at the risk of increased personal and department liability for their actions. If I can be jailed for mis-charging my time on a federal contract, a SWAT crew that raids the wrong address should have some skin in the game as well. That way, "getting home safe" also entails doing their jobs responsibly in addition to killing the bad guy before he gets a shot off.

Limited immunity protection while engaged in enhanced enforcement procedures would curtail a lot of the needless behavior, at least the profit-seeking portions.
"Wanna bring along the flash bangs?" "Nah, we don't know where everyone is in there well enough to chance it"
"Are you sure this is the right address? We don't wanna pay for another door and dead dog..."

TCB
I'd be inclined to agree with that, but I doubt I'd go as far as you're probably intending. Police departments get sued all the time, and most if not all of the suits are frivolous. I think departments should be liable for their policies if the policy is outside the bounds of law, and that officers should be liable for their actions if their actions are outside the bounds of policy, but that's essentially the system we have now.

I'd be interested in your thoughts on improving it.

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