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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 12/19/2005 8:32:58 AM EDT
Bad guys still have firepower edge on some cops
Almost a decade after one of the most notorious cop shootings in law enforcement history, police in some South Florida departments are still outgunned by criminals.
BY WANDA J. DeMARZO
Miami Herald
http://www.twincities.com/mld/twincities/news/13442565.htm

Feb. 28, 1997, is a day most cops won't ever forget.

Two bank robbers wearing body armor and brandishing automatic weapons turned a quiet San Fernando Valley neighborhood into a bloody ambush.

North Hollywood, Calif., police officers were outgunned and forced to scramble for cover amid relentless gunfire. A quick-thinking sergeant commandeered nine rifles from a neighborhood gun store to end the melee, but when it was over, 11 police officers and six civilians had been wounded.

After that notorious shootout, a growing number of police departments across the country began issuing semi automatic weapons and body armor to their officers.

While a large number of agencies in South Florida -- Hialeah, Pembroke Pines, Hallandale Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Coral Springs, Boca Raton and the Palm Beach Sheriff's Office -- allow their road patrol officers to carry high-powered rifles, others -- the Broward Sheriff's Office and the Hollywood, Miami-Dade and the City of Miami police departments -- have not yet armed all their officers with rifles.

Officers point out that criminals can easily buy high-powered weapons, both on the street and on the Internet. And recent crimes have raised concerns among police about their inability to protect themselves and the public from criminals who carry more firepower than they do.

Most of the handguns officers carry, including BSO, have an effective range of 25 yards, while a high-powered rifle, like an AR-15 that can be equipped with 40-round clips has an effective range of 300 to 500 yards depending on the barrel length and scope.

Deputies point to Ralston Davis as an example of the potential danger police can face when they aren't adequately armed.

Davis, accused of killing three people, sent officers a chilling message when he was arrested Dec. 2 with a knock-off version of the high-powered AR-15 rifle:

''Hand me my [rifle] and a bullet, and I will kill you all,'' Davis told BSO deputies. ``Stand in front of me, and I'll put a bullet in your face.''

Deputies said that if Davis hadn't run out of ammunition, he could have easily picked them off before they could take him out with their handguns, .45-caliber Glocks.

''The North Hollywood shooting showed the reason why cops should be armed with high-powered rifles,'' said Hialeah Deputy Chief Mark Overton. ``That shootout was a nightmare. Officers were pinned down and being shot through their Kevlar vests.''

Not only local law enforcement officers see the need for high-powered weapons.

SEEN AS A NECESSITY

Federal agencies, like the Drug Enforcement Administration, have been outfitting their personnel with high-powered rifles for a number of years. It's a necessity, DEA agents say, because the drug dealers they pursue have the money to spend on high-priced weapons to protect their product.

And agencies around Broward are arresting drug dealers outfitted with high-powered weapons.

''We're taking AK-47s off drug dealers,'' said Fort Lauderdale police range master Jim Decker, a former officer. ``Whatever [weapon] is out there, they're buying it.''

The AK-47 (for Avtomat Kalashnikova 1947) is a ubiquitous assault rifle that can be equipped with 30- or 40-round clips or a 75-round drum. The ammo can be easily purchased on the Internet.

''My second day on the road, I was getting shot at with a high-powered weapon, and I couldn't shoot back with my handgun,'' Decker said. ``And, what's worse, the bad guys are training themselves so they can shoot better.''

One survey, Decker said, showed that 79 percent of the people who killed officers practiced at the range at least once a month.

''They have them [rifles] and they know how to use them,'' he said. [you forgot to say high powered disphit!]

The National Association of Police Organizations, based in Washington, D.C., supports arming officers with high-powered rifles, saying the weapons are a tool, rarely used, but absolutely vital for the well-being of the public and for law enforcement.

'Whether the rifle is carried in the trunk of the patrol car or in the front seat, like gas masks and helmets, it's better for the officers' safety and the public safety that it's available should it be needed,'' NAPO director Bill Johnson said.

KNEE-JERK REACTION?

But some experts say arming officers with rifles is a knee-jerk reaction.

''Because the bad guys have assault rifles, law enforcement officers should?'' asks Tom Diaz, senior policy analyst for the Violence Policy Center, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit organization that advocates gun control.

``I don't see the rationale behind that type of thinking. What's next? Cops in armored cars and tanks? This is moving toward the militarization of law enforcement.''

That same thinking is why some departments balk at arming their officers with assault rifles.

''Departments have to make sure they don't have a weapon that is offensive to civilians or looks too militaristic,'' said Miami-Dade range master and firearms instructor Sgt. Steve Mesa. ``People don't want their patrol officers looking like they are in a specialized unit, like SWAT.''

But it can take a SWAT team 45 minutes to an hour to respond to a scene, a long time for an officer to wait while dodging bullets that can slice through Kevlar vests like a steak knife through butter.

Law enforcement is an evolutionary process, said former DEA agent Richard Mangan, who teaches criminology and criminal justice at Florida Atlantic University.

''I remember when bulletproof vests were something you only wore when making an arrest,'' Mangan said.

``Now officers wear them all the time. If the bad guys arm themselves with rifles, then officers arm themselves with rifles.''

Herald staff writer David Ovalle contributed to this report.
Link Posted: 12/19/2005 8:34:13 AM EDT
can you say "high powered"? I know you can!

Oooh, that evil internet!
Link Posted: 12/19/2005 8:39:39 AM EDT
O.k., the writer is obviously an idiot, but giving cops semi-autos makes a lot of sense to me. At least this wasn't the usual "the police are outgunned so ban everything" article.

Link Posted: 12/19/2005 8:40:18 AM EDT

''My second day on the road, I was getting shot at with a high-powered weapon, and I couldn't shoot back with my handgun,'' Decker said. ``And, what's worse, the bad guys are training themselves so they can shoot better.''

One survey, Decker said, showed that 79 percent of the people who killed officers practiced at the range at least once a month.


The obvious solution... BAN CIVILIAN GUN TRAINING!!!!!
Link Posted: 12/19/2005 8:42:23 AM EDT
damn that article is all jacked up, so many false statements.
Link Posted: 12/19/2005 8:43:08 AM EDT
My rifle will shoot further if I install a scope. That's what an article on the intraweb said.
Link Posted: 12/19/2005 8:43:44 AM EDT

Originally Posted By happycynic:
O.k., the writer is obviously an idiot, but giving cops semi-autos makes a lot of sense to me. At least this wasn't the usual "the police are outgunned so ban everything" article.




True. I could care less if they have rifles... why shouldn't they? I'd like them to spend more time training though. .308 and .223 are not something you want to see a lot of missing happening with.

{This is not to be construed as saying 9mm and .40 should be flying like rain either}
Link Posted: 12/19/2005 8:44:55 AM EDT

Originally Posted By wgjhsafT:
My rifle will shoot further if I install a scope. That's what an article on the intraweb said.

'

Only if it says Assault rifle on the box.
Link Posted: 12/19/2005 8:46:20 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/19/2005 8:48:04 AM EDT by callgood]
About 6 months ago Birmingham city council/mayor discussed supplying LEOs with ARs after two officers were killed while serving a warrant. There was some backlash about "safety of the populace, blah, blah, blah. Haven't heard anything recently. Soem of the Bham members might know more.

ETA
AssaultRifler, you're slipping. You missed bolding "clips" in paragraph 7!
Link Posted: 12/19/2005 8:48:30 AM EDT

Originally Posted By AssaultRifler:

``I don't see the rationale behind that type of thinking. What's next? Cops in armored cars and tanks? This is moving toward the militarization of law enforcement.''




Ohio Troopers Ask To Buy 2 Armored Vehicles
Link Posted: 12/19/2005 8:49:26 AM EDT
Where can I buy a HIGH POWER (more power than a full body power shot?) rifle that takes 40 round CLIPS on the internet? Where?

It is so frustrating that these people make NO effort to validate anything.

I'm switching majors to journalism. I can just sit a desk all day and make shit up. I don't have to call anyone, go anywhere to verify anything. It would be like being a novel writer only its not as hard, since your supposed to write articles so even a fourth grader can understand them.
Link Posted: 12/19/2005 8:49:58 AM EDT

Originally Posted By AssaultRifler:

Originally Posted By AssaultRifler:

``I don't see the rationale behind that type of thinking. What's next? Cops in armored cars and tanks? This is moving toward the militarization of law enforcement.''




Ohio Troopers Ask To Buy 2 Armored Vehicles



Yep I know the "militarization of the police" conspiricy theorists would not be far away from this thread.
Link Posted: 12/19/2005 8:51:03 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/19/2005 8:51:49 AM EDT by DukeSnookems]

...... like an AR-15 that can be equipped with 40-round clips....


Link Posted: 12/19/2005 8:56:35 AM EDT
...an edge? Wake up LEO agencies, the AK47 has been around since (grab on to your seats)

1947!

So, arm yourselves with something similar.
Link Posted: 12/19/2005 9:01:47 AM EDT
I defy them to define or identify low-powered weaponry
Link Posted: 12/19/2005 9:07:51 AM EDT
LOL couple years back around the AWB, I saved an article from Time which detailed each and every one of the scary baby-killin' weapons you people have stock-piled in your garages and under the baby's crib.

My favorite was the

"Browning Hi-Power 9mm pistol - favored for its rapid fire and high power".

Link Posted: 12/19/2005 9:15:42 AM EDT
Sounds like a pro AWB article to me
Link Posted: 12/19/2005 9:17:39 AM EDT
Link Posted: 12/19/2005 9:18:59 AM EDT

But it can take a SWAT team 45 minutes to an hour to respond to a scene, a long time for an officer to wait while dodging bullets that can slice through Kevlar vests like a steak knife through butter.



So a steak knife slices butter then a butter knife? I did not know that... I always thought that maybe if you had a warm knife it might cut butter better, but that is just crazy, sorry I brought it up.


BTW how do you get these to work in a AR and AK?

Link Posted: 12/19/2005 9:20:35 AM EDT

Originally Posted By TruePunisher:

But it can take a SWAT team 45 minutes to an hour to respond to a scene, a long time for an officer to wait while dodging bullets that can slice through Kevlar vests like a steak knife through butter.



So a steak knife slices butter then a butter knife? I did not know that... I always thought that maybe if you had a warm knife it might cut butter better, but that is just crazy, sorry I brought it up.


BTW how do you get these to work in a AR and AK?

photos2.yafro.com/pics3/i/20051219/10/e/f/a/efaca9547845e9a8a10e1b14014d3782200512191_thumb.jpg



Do you want to buy a bottle opener?
Link Posted: 12/19/2005 9:38:48 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Grunteled:


The obvious solution... BAN CIVILIAN GUN TRAINING!!!!!





wait. it's coming
Link Posted: 12/19/2005 9:40:46 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/19/2005 9:41:21 AM EDT by fight4yourrights]
High Powered AR15's with 40-round clips!!
Link Posted: 12/19/2005 11:41:55 AM EDT
Wow, crap article.

Now, I can say that in some instances, an officer emerging from his car with an M-4, would cause some of the populace to scream "POLICE MILITARIZATION!" and all of that nonsense.

So, which is it? Arm your officers with comparable weapons or leave them out gunned? If chosing the former, may I suggest not cryng and whining about this paranoia induced militarization shit.

I have be complained on for doing the above, for deploying my carbine at a potentially violent scene. Utter bullshit. (complaint dismissed, by the way).
I have to be absolutely honest. Whenever I hear about the so-called "militarization" of the police, all I really hear is waaaah, boo hoo.


Just my 0.02, so take it with a grain of salt.
Link Posted: 12/19/2005 11:46:51 AM EDT

Originally Posted By 101327:
Wow, crap article.

Now, I can say that in some instances, an officer emerging from his car with an M-4, would cause some of the populace to scream "POLICE MILITARIZATION!" and all of that nonsense.

So, which is it? Arm your officers with comparable weapons or leave them out gunned? If chosing the former, may I suggest not cryng and whining about this paranoia induced militarization shit.

I have be complained on for doing the above, for deploying my carbine at a potentially violent scene. Utter bullshit. (complaint dismissed, by the way).
I have to be absolutely honest. Whenever I hear about the so-called "militarization" of the police, all I really hear is waaaah, boo hoo.


Just my 0.02, so take it with a grain of salt.



Wait until you get complained on for having black speedfeed stocks on your 870.
Link Posted: 12/19/2005 11:50:44 AM EDT

Originally Posted By AssaultRifler:
can you say "high powered"? I know you can!

Oooh, that evil internet!



could not have said it better.

Oooh, that evil high powered internet! (I have DSL )
Link Posted: 12/19/2005 11:57:16 AM EDT

Originally Posted By AssaultRifler:
...
A quick-thinking sergeant commandeered nine rifles from a neighborhood gun store to end the melee, but when it was over, 11 police officers and six civilians had been wounded.
...



In other words, a policeman robbed a gun store and committed several federal and state felonies and got away with it scott free.

If you or I did that in the same exact situation we would be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.


I guess those waiting periods aren't such a great idea after all.
Link Posted: 12/19/2005 11:57:21 AM EDT

Originally Posted By 101327:
Wow, crap article.

Now, I can say that in some instances, an officer emerging from his car with an M-4, would cause some of the populace to scream "POLICE MILITARIZATION!" and all of that nonsense.

So, which is it? Arm your officers with comparable weapons or leave them out gunned? If chosing the former, may I suggest not cryng and whining about this paranoia induced militarization shit.

I have be complained on for doing the above, for deploying my carbine at a potentially violent scene. Utter bullshit. (complaint dismissed, by the way).
I have to be absolutely honest. Whenever I hear about the so-called "militarization" of the police, all I really hear is waaaah, boo hoo.


Just my 0.02, so take it with a grain of salt.



I don't have a problem with officers having what civies can legally own. So semi-auto only 'assault weapon' type rifles aren't a problem at all. Problem is when a department decides they need way bigger toys then they really need. Like a small dept. having an APC or issuing title1 mg's to beat cops.

Still, that in itself doesn't make a police state. Abandon of the 4th amendment and reckless lack of control of officers does.
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