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Posted: 3/22/2002 10:58:06 AM EDT
PROS: LE has the tools, tactics and means to deal decisively with the modern threats of todays gangbangers, drug dealers and illegal machine gun toting bank robbers. CONS: They have the same capacity to use against law abiding citizens who have been misidentified as criminals or wrongly prosecuted. So are they a "necessary evil" to deal with modern crime and threats or are they a violation of the US constitution who should not have superior arms to that of any ordianry citizen?
Link Posted: 3/22/2002 11:33:36 AM EDT
There is one reason, [b]and one reason alone[/b], for a government to need to outgun the population it governs... And if a government is in a situation where that reason is an issue for it, then something is very, very wrong.[V]
Link Posted: 3/22/2002 11:36:36 AM EDT
They SHOULD have gun that given them a tactical advantage. but to a certain extent. e.g. SMG:yes / rocket launcher:no But they shouldn't cover up their faces..
Link Posted: 3/22/2002 11:42:09 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Nick: They SHOULD have gun that given them a tactical advantage. but to a certain extent. e.g. SMG:yes / rocket launcher:no But they shouldn't cover up their faces..
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I agree with you in spirit except: They should have [b]TRAINING[/b] that gives them a tactical advantage over [b]CRIMINALS[/b]. I even think its ok for undercover agents to cover up their faces. For my reasons stated above, I believe there is no justification in a "free" society with a government "of the people, by the people and for the people" for restricting any weapon to military/LE only.
Link Posted: 3/22/2002 12:14:11 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Nick: They SHOULD have gun that given them a tactical advantage. but to a certain extent. e.g. SMG:yes / rocket launcher:no But they shouldn't cover up their faces..
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they should only be allowed weapons that are available to the general public. they need to cover their faces so that they don't singe their hair while burning your house down.
Link Posted: 3/22/2002 12:18:16 PM EDT
It seems like there are two seperate issues here. I have no problem with the police using automatic weapons and such. I think that citizens should be able to own and deploy equal firepower.
Link Posted: 3/22/2002 12:44:47 PM EDT
Steyr Aug, What is your personnal opinion on this?? And what agency was it that you used to work before? BTW Stop posting from your roof top[;)] sgtar15
Link Posted: 3/22/2002 12:57:52 PM EDT
I do not choose either option. They are not necessary and are a dangerous trend, yet they are not a violation IN AND OF THEMSELVES of the US Constitution. Some have done unconstitutional things, but their existence is not unconstitutional. What they are is an overreaction, and usually a funding ploy. And all too often, they do nothing. Look at Columbine. It used to be that street cops did things like bust down doors and serve warrants, while SWAT teams were reserved for hostage situations, snipers, that sort of thing. Now, SWAT teams serve warrants, street cops bust hookers and do domestic violence calls and it seems like a lot of times NO ONE handles hostage situations.
Link Posted: 3/22/2002 1:45:22 PM EDT
Even some of the regular cops here wear OD uniforms with military boots. The name tags, insignias, and flag patch are black on an OD background, like the newer US military ones worn in combat. Why does a cop need a uniform that's more suited to combat that what I wore in combat? Why OD green for a police officer? Dark gray seems more appropriate. Are the city officers planning on hiding in the woods.z
Link Posted: 3/22/2002 1:48:17 PM EDT
Originally Posted By sgtar15: Steyr Aug, What is your personnal opinion on this?? And what agency was it that you used to work before? BTW Stop posting from your roof top[;)] sgtar15
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DESPITE my previous emplyment I remain conflicted. On one hand I sure as hell would not want to deal with motivated drug smugglers with automatic weapons armed with ONLY a .38 revolver. For reasons of personal safety I wanted the most advanced weapons I could lay my hands on. Even if that meant I would have to obtain them "out of pocket" I would have done so. I continue to do this in my personal life. I want the best, most advabced means of personal security that I can obtain. On the other hand, Feds, shooting scoutmasters with M4s, SWAT serving warrants on the wrong house and machine gunning the neighbor of a drug lord to death, agents who already blew their cover shooting a dog and later a kid and expert snipers who can hit a unarmed mother armed with a baby at great distances through a small window all bother me. To use the police analogy, "If they didn't have adavanced weapons those situations would not have been as bad. Sure people would have still been hurt or killed, but not as many." This analogy applies equally to law enforcement when it commits a tactical boo boo. Plus I am as vulnerable as anyone else. What if SWAT got my house by mistake? Ever had the pizza guy pull up in your yard with a pepperoni w/extra cheese that your neighbor ordered? In short, I DON'T have the answer. But I worry about the issue.
Link Posted: 3/22/2002 4:16:37 PM EDT
Link Posted: 3/22/2002 6:47:39 PM EDT
Originally Posted By zoom: Even some of the regular cops here wear OD uniforms with military boots. The name tags, insignias, and flag patch are black on an OD background, like the newer US military ones worn in combat. Why does a cop need a uniform that's more suited to combat that what I wore in combat? Why OD green for a police officer? Dark gray seems more appropriate. Are the city officers planning on hiding in the woods.z
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it's so they can sneak up on the donuts.
Link Posted: 3/22/2002 8:06:43 PM EDT
FWIW here is my concern about the police becoming more “ paramilitary”. Why this is happening is another subject, one that is bound to start a flame war, and I ain’t going there. Police departments are civilian organizations and lack the disciplined command and control found in the military. No matter how well trained a police officer may be in tactics and procedures there is no police equivalent of the UCMJ and a brig waiting for a officer who disobeys a superiors command, or commits a serious error in judgement. Oh, they might try to fire him, and in some cases charge him with a crime, but see below. Police officers occupy civil service positions, with job security protected by all sorts of regulations, and in most cases by a union. Accountability is extremely hard to enforce. I could tell some really, really sad stories. Imagine a military union, with the ability to stymie or circumvent a military investigation or court martial and you will see the problem. Am I anti police? Of course not, I spent 22 years pushing a Plymouth Fury and other POS cruisers with broken front seats around the streets of a large urban area. Now they send me a pretty good check every month. I’ve been retired for 10 years so things may be different, but I suspect they are pretty much the same. I remember when my 2000 sworn officer department didn’t even have a SWAT team. Then after the LAPD publicized it (remember tv’s “Police Story”, anyone?), some officers were given special training, but they stayed in their regular assignments. A few years later the SWAT unit became the full time job of the team members. After that, it was as they say “off to the races.” So what’s your point, flashman? Simply this - as police departments adopt ever more aggressive methods of law enforcement, it must be accompanied by ever more aggressive methods of ensuring accountability. You want a “tactical” carbine, and the right to hide your face from the public while enforcing the law? Ok, but I want a transparent review process, with citizen members, and open to public view. That is not the situation today. Did I feel differently when I was working? Yeah, I did. Today I’m older, wiser and removed. Does the paramilitary trend worry me? You bet. Am I so smart as to have the perfect answer or even to correctly identify the problem? Nope. Mike
Link Posted: 3/22/2002 8:30:56 PM EDT
Mike pretty good summary.
Link Posted: 3/22/2002 8:32:26 PM EDT
This is the most dangerous trend in LE today. When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.
Link Posted: 3/22/2002 8:47:32 PM EDT
Anchorage, AK police dept. (to my best knowledge) has a "CIRT"s team: Crisis Intervention & Response Team comprised of highly trained officers who attend to regular duties when not called upon for special duty. As Anchorage, AK is the airline hub for a lot of international traffic, the APD is also detailed w/ assisting the Ted Stevens Intl. Airport police (a very good friend of mine just retired from them- EOD & firearms inst.). There is a variety of terrain to be delt with, from snow to woods to urban complexes, so aproppriate uniforms are worn to allow civies to see that these are the "good guys" & still maintain a low profile when sneaking up on a (recent) hostage situation (they took all 5 baddies with no shots & no flash bangs, just good communication). Until recently, though, the C.L.E.O. wouldn't sign Class III's for anybody but a cop or his buddies... until our new mayor straightened that out. Now he's under orders not to deprive lawful citizens unless there is a strong case for denying their permit request. Which means that the law abiding (& wealthier) citizenry of Anchorage can own many of the same tools as the APD. The exception being non-transferrable post '86 MG's. So we need to repeal & forget about GCA86 forever... My stance? Every lawabiding citizen should have access to equal power of the govt. Except those suitcase 'nukes! I don't have a concern with being checked out for a class III, but I don't think that ANY agency should be able to dictate politics to their law abiding bosses (citizens).[8D]
Link Posted: 3/22/2002 9:39:26 PM EDT
Flashman: I'm with you on this one. Insightful analysis!
Link Posted: 3/23/2002 12:00:56 AM EDT
The main problem is not the equipment, but the attitude. There are times where the police need weapons such as an MP5SD, such as going into a crack house and not wanting it to blow up in your face if you have to fire. The problem is the military attitude that seems to come along with the equipment. My friend is a cop and says that their chief has been hiring a lot of ex military lately and they are always the ones that are causing problems with the public. In the military, life is very structured, you do what you're told and people do what you tell them to do. Life in the real world doesn't work like that, so when the ex military cop comes up against a punk ass citizen, excessive use of force often results. At least this is what my friend tells me. The other thing is that military personel are taught to go in and control a situation by any means necessary, where a cops job is to mitigate and calm situations. The two jobs require a different attitude. I'm not saying cops don't need to kill people, hey, there are a lot of people who need killing, but that is not the primary focus of a cops job, unlike in the military. I think the police should have access to military firearms, (just as I should) but the attitude that often goes with it is a very dangerous thing. Especially since in most areas, the police only rarely use their firearms anyhow. I think SWAT teams are formed and get the attitude that they want to go hunting. That is not a good thing.
Link Posted: 3/23/2002 7:58:40 AM EDT
you know PD's/SO/SP's would say they have always been "paramilitary". They wear uniforms and have ranks. Look at it this way...... "Traditional" Uniform Pants/Shirt $100.00 made out of comfortable polyester (yick) Shoes $50.00-100.00 Brass, name tags/badge/whistle appx 180.00 Leather gunbelt $200.00 Various other items 50.00 BDU/High speed low drag/ninja suits.... Pants/Shirt $50.00-70.00 Shoes $50.00-100.00 Cloth Name tags/badges $20.00 platic whistle $5.00 Nylon/canvas gunbelt $125.00 Various other items $30.00 Which uniforms would YOU rather PAY for? Not to mention the polyester traditional uniform does not hold up well in bushes, pickers, thick grass etc. It also is not comfortable. BDU type uniforms are comfortable and durable. They don't look as nice. I think the question should have said "Militirization of Police". I think that "former military causing the problems....." No incorrect. Former military often know how to work in a governmental setting. I think much more of a problem is LEO's that get hired at 21 never having had a full time job prior to becoming a LEO. Show me a guy that worked 10 years in sales before becoming a cop, or a guy that worked in a lumber yard.... they'll know something about life, work, and other people.
Link Posted: 3/23/2002 8:37:21 AM EDT
FL_BOY's answer to why city cops wear OD uniforms:
it's so they can sneak up on the donuts.
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There is absolutely nothing wrong with donut hunting. I'm going track down a couple on my way home from work today. If I'm lucky, I'll find a creme-filled, chocolate covered one to take down. OLY-M4gery has a good point. The OD's are cheaper and more comfortable. I will agree that it's a better choise then the T-shirt and blue jeans I've seen in a few departments here in SC. The first time I saw that was in Rock Hill, SC. The officers handling a license check were all wearing blue jeans and tan T-shirts. The car blocking the middle of the road was a beige Delta 88 without any markings. There was one marked car parked near the roadblock with a uniformed officer in the car. If I hadn't seen that car, I might have seriously considered driving around the blocking car. They didn't look like police officers, weren't wearing uniforms, and except for the one car, none of the cars looked like police cars (a beat-up Delta 88?). I was still apprehensive when I, like the other drivers before me, was asked to get out of the car by guys in blue jeans carrying shotguns. There should be a happy medium between polyester and BDU's. Maybe dark blue BDU's without the subdued name tags and patches are the correct choise.z
Link Posted: 3/23/2002 9:53:48 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Torf: I have no problem with the police using automatic weapons and such. I think that citizens should be able to own and deploy equal firepower.
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I agree 110% Tyler
Link Posted: 3/23/2002 10:54:37 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/23/2002 11:03:23 AM EDT by M4]
To me it depends on the type of LE were talking about. Regular local cops should have access to nothing more than what the general population does. Semiauto AR's at best. SWAT teams should have a step up.....MP5's, M4's. But if Colubine was any indication of their over all effectiveness as an intervention force, then the above mentioned weapons can effectively be replaced with snub nosed revolvers.....possibly even real powerful slingshots. There are those occasional situations...ie the L.A. shootout a few years back among others, that certain bad guys need to be looking at some serious firepower. That's the exception and not the rule though, but people like that need to be stopped a LOT faster then they were. I used to be in favor of SWAT teams, but I have to say that their total inaction and apparent cowardess at Columbine has put that in to serious question in my mind. If a school full of kids being slaughtered dictates a course of action as timid as what was seen there, then SWAT teams are pointless. They offered nothing more than what regular beat cops could accomplish. Elian Gonzales & Co. got a house full of MP5's, but Dylan Klebold & Eric Harris kept at least 2 SWAT teams from entering the school and taking proactive steps to end a major slaughter.
Link Posted: 3/23/2002 11:47:56 AM EDT
SWAT teams aren't necessarily cowardly, any more than any one posting here. The issue in regards to any apparent inaction is attributable to SOP constraints - as dictated by departmental policy - to avoid legal liability. We can argue about response times, poor judgement, etc. But even when they arrive & assemble in a reasonable amount of time, SOP/policy must be adhered to. Maybe they [b]should[/b] act more aggressively in certain cases. Problem is, they are often [b]forbidden[/b]. The law bites everyone. ... As far as armament goes, everyone can agree that we all want to be on the same legal footing as the local, state, & fed gumshoes. That being said, some "toys" are better off in a private collection than on duty. Prime example would the M60. I've no problem with someone owning one [u]strictly for range use[/u]. But what field application does it usefully serve in the public sector? Can you say, "[b]overpenetration[/b]"? Take the LA bank robbery shootout. M4's/AK's would seem sufficient for capping a BG. Why would a M60 be necessary. Wouldn't "collateral damage" be a factor? BG's don't give a damn about this, but I expect LE to be concerned with it. Regardless of a BG's inherent apathy re: public casualties, LE should be able to contain them with the M4, AK or a sniper-grade weapon. Someone posted a photo pic of a masked, M60-wielding gumshoe a few months back. I am a little surprised that things have devolved to this. LE (local, state, Fed) should be limited to using only those firearms which the public can legally own (with exception to T-gas, flash-bangs, etc.). Seems to me, MP5's, M4's, etc. are reasonably necessary for LE field use. Doesn't federal law specify the differences that are [i]supposed[/i] to separate LE from the military? An M60??? Give it up.
Link Posted: 3/23/2002 12:12:20 PM EDT
Drugs smugglers and gang members armed with automatic weapons are exceedingly rare except on television. I just don't believe it happens very often. How many North Hollywood shootouts have there been? ONE. How many Columbines? ONE (and the cops had all the gear and still failed to accomplish anything useful). There are lots of reasons for the police state mentality of cops: 1) Many are former military, they romaticize their "Rambo" days and want to continue living them. 2) There are hundreds of police supply houses sending out catalogs to agencies with lots of federal grant money and ill-gotten seizure money that they can spend on "toys". 3) Looking "bad ass" is a deterrent to anyone thinking of committing a crime (perhaps a legitimate reason, perhaps not since so few people commit crimes). 4) It's an ego trip to have the uniform, the badge, and the Batman utility belt. I suppose it's reassuring to know you're ready for anything even when your typical shift is ho-hum boring, acting as a revenue agent with a radar or laser or hanging out in a doughnut shop. 5) Fear--maybe they're downright afraid. It's the "us against them" mentality that gets in your head. All "civilians" are potential bad guys, so you have to be on your guard and looking at all times.
Link Posted: 3/23/2002 5:25:49 PM EDT
Police departments are civilian organizations. They aren't military organizations. The police sometimes need that drummed in to their heads. They are civilians, just like the people they deal with. They aren't separate from or above anyone... they're just charged with acting as agents of the law. If they want to do the "Mall Ninja" routine, they can do it on their days off. like everyone else. As to their weapons: They feel they need weapons beyond those normally allowed to civilians (automatic weapons, explosives) so that they can "level the playing field" with criminals, as does the FBI, ATF, etc. I tend do agree. However, there's a deeper admission on their part when they make that claim. Why are they allowed to feel more "safe" than me?
Link Posted: 3/23/2002 11:02:41 PM EDT
I think it all comes down to respect,I was brought up to respect the law and for the most part i still do,that said let me say this if a person is trying to be what they are not do they deserve respect? 1. A fully trained member of our armed forces defending our country againgst all enemy's foriegn or domestic,under the leadership of our commander in chief. 2.A probably trained member of your local LEO who is trying to look like a soldier,or at least like the lapd he saw on cops at 8 est on fox,who dosen't give a rats a$$ about your rights,civil or constitutinal (hope i spelled that right)who thinks if you have more than a bb gun you have an arsenal and are hell bent on commiting a crime reguardless of your past record. WHO DO YOU THINK DESERVES RESPECT?
Link Posted: 3/24/2002 5:20:37 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/24/2002 5:22:46 AM EDT by Rotti]
Originally Posted By GungHo: Police departments are civilian organizations. They aren't military organizations. The police sometimes need that drummed in to their heads. They are civilians, just like the people they deal with. They aren't separate from or above anyone... they're just charged with acting as agents of the law. If they want to do the "Mall Ninja" routine, they can do it on their days off. like everyone else. As to their weapons: They feel they need weapons beyond those normally allowed to civilians (automatic weapons, explosives) so that they can "level the playing field" with criminals, as does the FBI, ATF, etc. I tend do agree. However, there's a deeper admission on their part when they make that claim. Why are they allowed to feel more "safe" than me?
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The application packet for the AK state troopers asks if the applicant is willing & capable of working in a "PARAMILITARY ENVIRONMENT". This is asked of an applicant again during the interview session. This is not stating that they are a military organization, rather structured like one. It is then drummed into applicant's/ cadet's heads that they WILL be held to a higher standard than the general public. If you're going to enforce the law, you have to earn respect by setting an excellent example- no more going to bars & starting brawls, flipping folks off in traffic, cursing in front of children in a store etc... things that will reflect on the rest of the public safety sector will not be tolerated - even when you're off the clock - 'cause you never are. As to the training of LEO for tactical applications, I can't speak for the lower 48, but the AK state troopers & the Anchorage police dept. have extemley high standards for both physical fitness & use of tactical equipment. The emphasis with both agencies is on co-operation via communication, in other words, TALK SOFTLY but CARRY A BIG STICK. It sounds like the LEA of several of your areas is lacking in the "soft" skills... APD carries teddy bears to soften a childs fear of the police when their fragile world is shattered by some crack head that the good guys have to hog tie. There have been officers who let the dept. down in APD, & they were on their own from then on. NOTHING worse than a bad cop. The AK state troopers has a very good repoir with many in this state.
Link Posted: 3/24/2002 7:02:03 AM EDT
Police shouldnt be able to use 9mm weapons. after all it's the 9mm Parabellum, the latin "for war". Why would they need a gun designed "for war". Those paramilitary rank structures are questionable too. Why cant they just call the Sergeants "team leaders" or "project leaders" like at Starbucks? Whats with those scary wool uniforms too? My great grandfather wore a wool uniform in WWI. Why would any cop need a wool uniform? Cant they just wear Dockers and Golf shirts like everyone else?
Link Posted: 3/27/2002 5:52:20 AM EDT
I believe that SWAT Teams are a necesary evil...we have a 12 member SWAT Team in my Dept. However, its not full time and when not called out they are all performing their normal patrol duties...as far as uniforms go they wear both Nomex flight suits and hoods solely for protection against flash/ flames...also the have their nametags on the flightsuits black w/ yellow letters...
Link Posted: 3/27/2002 6:48:11 PM EDT
Originally Posted By treefrog449: I believe that SWAT Teams are a necesary evil...we have a 12 member SWAT Team in my Dept. However, its not full time and when not called out they are all performing their normal patrol duties...as far as uniforms go they wear both Nomex flight suits and hoods solely for protection against flash/ flames...also the have their nametags on the flightsuits black w/ yellow letters...
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I think this is where most people are confused (concerning uniforms). The reason SWAT type teams wear what they wear is because it is a functional piece of protective equipment. Nomex jump suits or camo BDU's are much more suited to "no-knock" warrants, as are knee pads, protective gloves, ballistic goggles, & of course level III body armor & ballistic helmet... It's always good to have "POLICE" or similiar ID on uniform so the general public doesn't think that the local militia is going after the neighbors. [8D] If you see a cop in BDU's, how do you know he didn't just get off of an emergency call? Or his dept. may require him to have all of his emegency gear at the ready if he is a patrol officer/ SWAT member... (wear BDU's & keep riot/ entry gear in trunk). Sometimes you just need to ask questions, like: Why do you wear those? Maybe there's a good a reason & maybe there isn't. Only one way to find out, right? That is, as long as you don't have a Cletus & Roscoe type of dept., those kind, well... (wannabe's?)
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