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Old August 28, 2014, 09:13 AM   #26
Madcap_Magician
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I believe DoD pointed out recently that 95% of the equipment provided to law enforcement agencies is not specifically tactical in nature, but rather office supplies, furniture, and electronics.
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Old August 28, 2014, 10:38 AM   #27
maestro pistolero
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About a month ago there was a multiple home invasion incident in Las Vegas. It's so happened to be on my street. I was very happy to see officers walking by my window with A.R. 15's in that moment. Two people and a perp got killed.

The officers took him down with assistance of a helicopter and a couple of young officers with AR15s. There was no time for a SWAT team to arrive and deal with it, and these Las Vegas Metro PD officers performed spectacularly.

It seems most of the objections to the so called militarization of police are to equipment that is primarily defensive, i.e. riot shields, full protective body gear, armored vehicles, etc. Tear gas is somewhat offensive, I suppose, though less than lethal.

So what are we saying, that police officers don't have a right to whatever gear and equipment is necessary to keep them alive in the middle of out-of-control violence? I'm pretty sure no resident of Ferguson would object to using an armored police vehicle for cover to escape their own death. Why should they begrudge the same protection to the police?

For that matter, if a lawful citizen (without ill-intent, and not for nefarious purposes) were so inclined to drive their own armored vehicle, and wear a gas mask and body armor, it might be odd, but I think they would have every right to do that as well. Neither the police nor citizens have any obligation whatsoever to make themselves vulnerable to lethal or nonlethal attacks.

Isn't so called militarization more about the software than the hardware?

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Old August 28, 2014, 12:08 PM   #28
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weapons allowed

I have a question,ok everybody I'd saying that if the mob100's of people are rushing the police, they are not allowed to shoot,stand their ground.So here we have the national guard same situation ,are they allowed to fire ? If not what what is the purpose of being there ,when the mob can rush them an go on vandalizing or what ever.explain this
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Old August 28, 2014, 12:19 PM   #29
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If not what what is the purpose of being there ,when the mob can rush them an go on vandalizing or what ever.explain this
If you’re asking why the police can’t shoot people down in the streets for stealing beer and cigarettes I think the answer is - it would be illegal and immoral. What they can do is use the various non-lethals like tear gas, rubber bullets, etc to disperse the crowd.
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Old August 28, 2014, 12:23 PM   #30
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Two people and a perp got killed.
I take it, from the tone of the rest of your post, that the two people weren't killed by officers firing at the perp.

Yes, the patrol rifle does have a place in modern policing. To paraphrase one of our truisms, "When seconds count, the SWAT Team is only minutes away!"
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Old August 28, 2014, 12:35 PM   #31
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So what are we saying, that police officers don't have a right to whatever gear and equipment is necessary to keep them alive in the middle of out-of-control violence?
We've been down this road before, and those who make this argument always fail to acknowledge that the police actually don't have a right to whatever they want, because this is a job they are doing at the behest of, and funded by money from, the public. The public gets to call the shots on what the police are, and are not, allowed to do (the courts, secondarily, as a check on the populace). What the police do have authority over, is who and what charges to go after and enforce most vigorously.

Even if a cop buys an Uzi with his own money, it is not his right to carry/use it in the course of his duties; it is his right to possess it as the civilian that he is, off the clock. The same goes for body armor, rifles, helicopters, MRAPS, and any other goodies gotten from the DoD or from bond elections. The people get to decide, and the police must convince the people that what they want (and let's be real, most of this is pure 'want') is what they should actually be given. Hence the constant cries of 'out of control violence' in this, the 30-year nadir of violence in our nation, and constant and continual cudgel of "The Police Guilt Trip." The latter of which I am rapidly losing respect for in light of the 'home safe' mentality on wide display everywhere (hint: conducting your actions so as to best guarantee your own survival regardless the consequences to others, is very nearly the definition of cowardice). The best 'home safe' guarantee is to quit being a police officer and let someone so inclined to risk themselves in the course of service to their community take the reigns.

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Yes, the patrol rifle does have a place in modern policing
To be honest, it has always had a place in policing, but for some reason, it never showed up in the places where history pays attention. Lots of stories out there of the old sheriff having a rifle, but the romantic image of the boy in blue is a revolver. I suspect this is because that stereotype came from large Eastern cities in the golden age of cinema, places where a rifle would have precious little utility, but the now-forbidden 'sap' or blackjack was extremely effective. Oddly, I rarely hear officers demanding they be allowed their old leeway regarding the use of saps on uncooperative suspects; from what I gather, they were even more effective than stun guns or tasers, and if used properly, rarely threatened the life of the suspect (not unlike stun guns or tasers).

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Old August 28, 2014, 02:01 PM   #32
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I served 22.5 yrs in police work. I was the SWAT commander.
We were available on drug raids, hostage situations, dangerous felon arrests but the public never saw us.
We had 3 MP-5s, one supressed, no one knew that outside the department.
I'm a firm believer in community policing. Get out of the squad car for a bit and talk to people. Be an ambassador of good will.
Treat everyone as well as they will let you.
I never saw a "frag" grenade. ALL grenades were CS or CN dust, commonly called tear gas. Our 1.5" bore grenade laucher was only for delivering tear gas.
We had the wooden "knee knocker" rounds but never used them.
One hot summder day there was a crowd disturbance, (flippin riot!).
We had 7 patrol cars there that were targets for rocks & bottles.
I showed up as command officer.
My sgt. wanted to call in reserves, sheriff, township cops, etc.
Know what I did? I sent ALL of my men away. No more targets for rocks & bottles. I went into the crowd of young aggitated blacks and talked to them by name. I knew many by name, knew thier aunts, uncles, preachers, parents.
No one laid a hand on me. Not one.
It wasn't a move out of bravdo, I was a bit apprehensive but it was the right move at that time. The crowd wasn''t having fun anymore so they melted away.
Had we panicked & brought lots more police we'd have a a real bad riot to deal with.
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Old August 28, 2014, 02:05 PM   #33
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I guess one of the problems I see is who is receiving these items? Franklin, VA, a small town not far from me just received an MRAP. Explain to me why a town of 8900 people needs one of these? I thought it was outrageous when the small, local towns received Dodge Chargers. And it is. We don't have any high-speed chases.

Should the police be able to defend themselves? Absolutely. But if something happens that the police departments can't handle, there are other channels in place to do so. The LA riots, when the unrest was too much for the police department to handle they sent in the National Guard. Hurricane Katrina, the same thing.

The last line of defense is us, the citizens.
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Old August 28, 2014, 02:21 PM   #34
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the police department to handle they sent in the National Guard. Hurricane Katrina, the same thing
I heard they sent the Guard to Kent State too. If an MRAP keeps the Guard at their day job, I'm not going to complain. One Weekend a month and two weeks a year is not the guy (or gal) I want standing guard in front of a protest. Flying a helo into a disaster zone, or ending an actually violent riot give them a call. Until then I'd rather have the guys who do it for a living out there, with an MRAP to drive away in while the Governor sends in the guard.
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Old August 28, 2014, 03:18 PM   #35
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Tam wrote a great piece concerning the militrization of police.

My concern isn't that Deputy Dog has an AR-15 with an ACOG on it. Hell, Frank Hamer used a BAR more than I shoot my carry gun. My concern is that Deputy Dog is dressed like Delta Force Dog about to take down an IED Factory in Mosul. And has an "us versuses them" attitude to match it. Local police should act as if they are to "serve and protect" their local community.
Sir Robert Peel wrote a pretty good book about it.

I understand a tie and a service jacket aren't practical these days. And I understand combat boots make a pretty good choice of foot where over the patent leather low quarter. And, as a veteran, I certainly get body armor.

But you're really gonna have to explain to me the need for MARPATs or ACUs, an MRAP, and a group of guys who look like the Blackhawk catalog serving a search warrant for a couple of ounces of pot.
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Old August 28, 2014, 04:30 PM   #36
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On one side you have the conservatives who hate government to include the police. On another side you have the liberals who believe the police are racists. In yet another corner you have all the people still mad about their speeding tickets. The media hates the police. Reporters who never spent one day as an officer casting a shadow upon their work.

If the police are unprepared you complain. If they show up overprepared than its the militarization of police.

So the police cant win these message board discussions.
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Old August 28, 2014, 10:45 PM   #37
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I don't see what the "militarized police OMG" crowd is getting excited about...

What are we really talking about here... scary looking black rifles? scary looking trucks? scary looking clothes?

Police brutality, when it happens, is independent of the tools and weapons the police have. Brutality with a nightstick and a 38 revolver is not any less brutal than brutality with a flash bang, tear gas, and an AR-15.

Are we really making the argument that the presence of tactical gear at the police station causes the police to become more "militaristic"... The mere possession of a scary looking weapon can change a persons behavior for the worse? Really? I thought that was Bloomberg's argument for gun control? Are we now agreeing with the anti-gun nuts?

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Old August 29, 2014, 11:31 AM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barnbwt
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maestro_Pistolero
So what are we saying, that police officers don't have a right to whatever gear and equipment is necessary to keep them alive in the middle of out-of-control violence?
We've been down this road before, and those who make this argument always fail to acknowledge that the police actually don't have a right to whatever they want, because this is a job they are doing at the behest of, and funded by money from, the public. The public gets to call the shots on what the police are, and are not, allowed to do (the courts, secondarily, as a check on the populace). What the police do have authority over, is who and what charges to go after and enforce most vigorously.
I think you are both missing the point that this particular argument is not actually about "rights," since police agencies do not have them. That being said, the public does not get to call the shots on what the police are and are not allowed to do and have. The public elects legislators, city council members, and county board members who can approve or deny budgets for the agencies for which they are responsible. The general police power itself is delegated to the states, who formalize it and delegate it themselves in their constitutions and city charters. The judiciary then judges whether actions by police agencies brought before the courts are in accord with the law as enacted by the legislators.

The fact that some percentage of the public thinks one way or another is quite honestly irrelevant. When enough people consider it to be an important political issue, eventually they will elect legislators who agree, and changes will be made. This process is (intentionally) glacially slow on the national level but can happen quite quickly on the local level. Plenty of communities have, in fact, decided that they don't want their local PD to have an MRAP. Others have decided otherwise. That's the way it should be.

Quote:
Originally Posted by barnbwt
Even if a cop buys an Uzi with his own money, it is not his right to carry/use it in the course of his duties; it is his right to possess it as the civilian that he is, off the clock. The same goes for body armor, rifles, helicopters, MRAPS, and any other goodies gotten from the DoD or from bond elections.
I am not sure where you are going with this. If a cop buys an Uzi with his own money, and carrying it as a patrol weapon is authorized by department policy, he does, in fact, have the 'right' to carry and use it in the course of his duties. If the community doesn't like that, they will write letters and vote differently until their city council or county board forces the Sheriff or Chief to change that policy, and the officer will then no longer have the 'right' to carry his or her Uzi.

Quote:
Originally Posted by barnbwt
The people get to decide, and the police must convince the people that what they want (and let's be real, most of this is pure 'want') is what they should actually be given. Hence the constant cries of 'out of control violence' in this, the 30-year nadir of violence in our nation, and constant and continual cudgel of "The Police Guilt Trip."
I am guessing you are just mad that the "people" have decided to let the police have wider leeway than you would prefer in equipment and practices?

Quote:
Originally Posted by barnbwt
The latter of which I am rapidly losing respect for in light of the 'home safe' mentality on wide display everywhere (hint: conducting your actions so as to best guarantee your own survival regardless the consequences to others, is very nearly the definition of cowardice). The best 'home safe' guarantee is to quit being a police officer and let someone so inclined to risk themselves in the course of service to their community take the reigns.
From past discussion, I gather that you feel that police officers should always be personally civilly and criminally liable for all actions taken on duty, regardless of whether it was in accord with policy and law and regardless of whether the action was undertaken in good faith.

Given that law enforcement requires making daily split-second decisions regarding life, death, civil rights, and community relations without necessarily having complete or even accurate information necessary to make the perfect decision every time, and given that you also feel officers should not have body armor, rifles, helicopters, or armored vehicles...

...where do you think you are going to find "someone so inclined to risk themselves in the course of service to their community" while you are waiting in the wings to sue or imprison them?
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Old August 29, 2014, 04:54 PM   #39
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I own a compliant non-NFA Uzi and its MUCH safer than any Glock pistol any officer carries. I would argue that rifles and Uzi pistols are much safer than any pistol. More accurate and wont just go off with a misplaced finger. Just because the Uzi looks scary doesnt mean that its less safe than the Glock.

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Old August 29, 2014, 05:13 PM   #40
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The problem doesn't lie with whether or not the Uzi is anymore or any less safe than a Glock or Patrol Carbine. I have no problem with, nor do I think anyone does, with police officers carrying enough gun for the task at hand, or any task they may encounter.

The problem lies when concerns for officer safety morph into an attitude of "us vs. them" instead of community policing. That's when the MRAPs, ACUs, and face masks become the marks of an occupying force instead of a group of people trying to help their local community.

In Afghanistan, we were specifically forbidden from wearing bacalavas, covering our mouths with our ever present Keffiyehs unless the wind or sand was really bad. In dealings with local leaders, we doffed our kevlar. Just saying.
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Old August 29, 2014, 09:13 PM   #41
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So we really ARE talking about scary clothing.

Quote:
The problem lies when concerns for officer safety morph into an attitude of "us vs. them" instead of community policing. That's when the MRAPs, ACUs, and face masks become the marks of an occupying force instead of a group of people trying to help their local community.
Whenever the police develop an "us vs them" attitude, it is a problem. But it's not a function of the clothes they wear. It has happened in the past when cops walked the beat with a night stick and a 38 revolver.

The "marks" of an occupying force are the actual actions of the occupying force and the oppression that ensues. It is not the clothing and gear. And let's bring the conversation back to reality... Any casual study of 20th century history will enlighten us on what TRUE oppression looks like. There are countless examples of authoritarian governments that brutally ruled their people. Talk to an immigrant from Russia, or Croatia, or Nicaragua, or just about any African nation. There is just no way a person can talk about US police as an "occupying force" if they are familiar with true oppression.

So I am sorry that the Cop's scary black clothing frightens and offends some folks. I am sure that my AR-15 frightens and offends some folks too.

Certainly there are examples where the police used tactical gear and weapons when it was unnecessary. Certainly there are examples of the police using absolutely poor judgment. But it is not the gear that is the problem, it is a lack of competence. Competence problems can be solved by selectively firing the poor performers. Don't blame the tools which 99% of cops use appropriately.

Quote:
In Afghanistan, we were specifically forbidden from wearing bacalavas, covering our mouths with our ever present Keffiyehs unless the wind or sand was really bad. In dealings with local leaders, we doffed our kevlar. Just saying.
In Afghanistan, you were dealing with a population that was largely illiterate, tribal, and in many ways primitive. I am not surprised that this population was overly sensitive to appearances. But American Citizens are above that, or they should be...

Jim

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Old August 29, 2014, 10:41 PM   #42
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Ok when was the last time you saw an MRAP patrol your community? You will never see them on patrol because they are horrible to drive, terribly uncomfortable and require lots of maintenance. The MRAP will only be taken out in special situations which call for it. As for patrol, the everyday officer wants a Ford Explorer. They dont want to drive an armored vehicle because its terrible to drive.

I know the county where I live owns armored vehicles, but I have never seen one.
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Old August 30, 2014, 12:43 AM   #43
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Now you have a surplus armoured veh to be used in times of unrest, at the cost of maybe a dollar to the department.
This is absolutely false. The maintenance on many of these specialized heavy vehicles, especially outside the normal military supply chain. These vehicle have to be extensively modified to interface with police communications and electronics. One local department got a "free" MRAv that ended up costing a couple of hundred thousand dollars the first year.

On those rifles converted to semi-auto, it may be $75 in parts to convert, but the armory doesn't run on hopes and dreams. I don't believe it is mandatory to convert. In fact I know of several departments with rifles that are still full auto.
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Old August 30, 2014, 02:18 AM   #44
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Johnwilliamson,

Your statement regarding something I said as being false, was in itself false. If you have no personal experience with such things, then you have no room to make such an uniformed FALSE claim.

A cost to procure any piece of equipment is just that, the cost. Maintaining or modifying that equipment is another story. Get your facts straight before you imply other people are making false statements.
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Old August 30, 2014, 10:25 AM   #45
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I think you are both missing the point that this particular argument is not actually about "rights," since police agencies do not have them.
I fully understand that rights are for individuals. It is in that context that I asserted that police have a right to whatever defensive equipment necessary to keep them out of harms way. This right is no less applicable for a police officer than any other individual. It is a human right to defend one's person that isn't diminished because one is a police officer. That's all I'm saying.
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Old August 30, 2014, 10:40 AM   #46
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Madcap_Magician Wrote;
Quote:
From past discussion, I gather that you feel that police officers should always be personally civilly and criminally liable for all actions taken on duty, regardless of whether it was in accord with policy and law and regardless of whether the action was undertaken in good faith.
This is exactly how I feel. If the officers bore the same burden of scrutiny in their actions as any other citizen, their actions might be a bit more "measured" in some instances.

The "immunity" enjoyed by Police is a huge part of the militarization debate IMO.
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Old August 30, 2014, 11:13 AM   #47
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The "immunity" enjoyed by Police is a huge part of the militarization debate IMO.
I really hope the ensuing civil suit* bankrupts Habersham County. That might wake some people up.

*ETA: Habersham County refuses to pay the medical bills of a baby they almost killed with a grenade a couple of month ago in a botched drug raid -- that found nothing illegal.
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Old August 30, 2014, 12:25 PM   #48
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That right there is the problem. Many of you have made your decisions based on the media reports which are terribly one sided or not accurate. Why not wait until the facts are hashed out in official reports and the courts? Obviously these agenda oriented reporters are not going to deliver the truth.

No one knows both sides of the story. The one real fact is that if the law was obeyed and the officer was not assaulted than this would not have happened. If you assault an officer, Im not going to feel any pity for you. Just stand still and be quiet. How hard is that?
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Old August 30, 2014, 12:35 PM   #49
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That right there is the problem. Many of you have made your decisions based on the media reports which are terribly one sided or not accurate. Why not wait until the facts are hashed out in official reports and the courts? Obviously these agenda oriented reporters are not going to deliver the truth.

No one knows both sides of the story. The one real fact is that if the law was obeyed and the officer was not assaulted than this would not have happened. If you assault an officer, Im not going to feel any pity for you. Just stand still and be quiet. How hard is that?
Are we talking about Ferguson? I was talking about civil and criminal immunity.

My *initial* reaction in Ferguson was that the cop murdered Brown, but it wasn't racially motivated. I wasn't married to that opinion, and I've come to believe it was a justified shooting, *also* not racially motivated. Might change my mind again before it's all over
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Old August 30, 2014, 09:56 PM   #50
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Quote:
Quote:
Society is getting more dangerous all the time ...

Not so. US violent crime is down dramatically:
This is another facet of the problem. We are being told, and shown on screen 24/7 how violent and dangerous things are, and yet, the crime statistics from official sources are saying just the opposite.

I believe only one can be true. But which?

A scary, dangerous world is good business for the media, and for the people who make and sell things to use in that world. Means money for police, and everyone one else with a finger in that pie.

On the other hand, would the FBI lie to us about crime statistics?

When the assault weapon hysteria first peaked in the early 90s, the official crime statistics did not support the image of terror that the anti gun bigots wanted, so were simply ignored. Statistics showing how only something like 1.5% of the crimes were committed with rifles, and only about 1.5% of those crimes were done with what could be loosely called an assault weapon, simply didn't fit their master plan.

What we had was a tiny number of highly publicized mass shootings. And, of course the murder of children. Shown and talked about over and over, and over until the overall impression is that these things are happening constantly, day in and day out all over the country. Which was simply not the truth.

But we got more restrictive laws, anyway...
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