7/21/2013 12:14am, #11
What if the target in your "only a marijuana warrant" is on parole for murder?
What if the target has a criminal history of resisting/violence/weapons?
What if the confidential informant in the case tells you he has seen weapons in the residence and the target and his 3 brothers are all known gang members?
What if the structure is known to be barricaded and you need breaching expertise?
What if the real investigatory purpose is to get a violent probationer known to be involved in criminal enterprise back behind bars and the most solid case you have is a "marijuana warrant"?
The "they used SWAT only for a xxxxxx warrant" is meaningless when it comes to a valid reason to use SWAT...to someone who knows what valid reasons are.
And I'm all for outside the house takedowns IF they are possible. The sad fact of the matter is that SWAT team activations come with an OT bill...many Chiefs are not gonna be too keen on sitting on a target for an unknown timeframe to do a takedown. Most takedown operations are done by my unit vs SWAT as long as the threat assessment doesn't mandate SWAT.
Is all this to say that I don't think many PD's are NOT misusing their Teams? Hell no...I KNOW that some are. But the "Militarization" thing is a tad hyperbolic IMO.
Last edited by tgace; 7/21/2013 12:21am at .
7/21/2013 12:19am, #12
In terms of distinguishing military from police, my opinion is that perception is reality. Police should strive to NOT look like the military.
More food for thought:
http://www.cato.org/raidmap"No. Listen to me because I know what I'm talking about here." -- Hannibal
7/21/2013 12:23am, #13
Ha, no I didn't. Was browsing on my phone when I saw that.
I realize that ACUs are cheaper and generally better (than some of the crap out there), but the distinction is more important. Cops should be cops, should look like cops, not soldiers. It's obvious that some cops who dress like soldiers, want to play soldier more than they want to get cats out of trees and help old ladies cross the street.
Hell, I've even heard cops refer to non-cops as "civilians". Cops are civilians too, except for those who are currently serving in a reserve status for the military.
7/21/2013 12:38am, #14
Eh..the whole LEO/Civilian discussion.
I think there's a difference between using the terms to describe/discuss the fact that police:
1. Are sworn members of a government quasi-military organization.
2. They take an oath to uphold the Constitution.
3. They are given legal authority by their agency and state or federal law which exceeds any legal authority possessed by other citizens.
and using the term as a class differentiation.
Webster even defines Civilian as:
Definition of CIVILIAN
1: a specialist in Roman or modern civil law
2a : one not on active duty in the armed services or not on a police or firefighting force
...I agree with the sentiment and the idea that officers should think of themselves as members of their community, we are all subject to the same laws. But I wouldn't get too twisted with the words when used in general discussion.
In my PD we have non-sworn persons who work there..they are termed "civilian employees" but could also be termed "non-sworn". LE/Civilian is generally better understood in discussion than Sworn/Non-Sworn is (except perhaps by other Cops).
I think that in colloquial use it's not a big deal to refer to police as non-civilians casually, but in a formal or official context it would not be appropriate.
I've never referred to a non-le as a civilian when I was off duty....
Last edited by tgace; 7/21/2013 12:47am at .
7/21/2013 12:41am, #15
7/21/2013 12:47am, #16
The reason why it's important is to not make that distinction is again, because police should not see themselves as different from the communities they police. The "us vs. them" thing is bad enough that those of us that are a part of the "them", have taken notice of it, and even those of us that are pro-police are getting a bit fed up with the massive sense of entitlement to authority.
For example, the Florida officer who pulled over an off duty cop who was going 30+ over the speed limit to get to his part time job, and got harassed and trashed on the Internet by other cops who were pissed that she didn't just let him off; she actually gave him the ticket.
If anything, the police should be held to a much higher standard of law, not above it.
7/21/2013 12:52am, #17
7/21/2013 4:40am, #18
What is the definition of military equipment anyways? Except for the very latest in night vision and thermal equipment, target designators, and certain explosives and vehicles, civilians have access to it. At least almost all of the equipment under discussion (body armor, firearms, etc), civilians have access to.
Its largely a rhetorical discussion that doesn't really make sense once you think about it. The tactics and application differ wildly. The purpose and end-goal differs. One is intended to destroy and defeat the enemy. The other is designed to preserve life, or life of others with minimal negative affects to the general public.
7/21/2013 4:47am, #19
For example, one of my customer departments are looking into our uniforms for use in more tactical environments. Yes, it is a battle dress uniform, but they want the ripstop material for breathability and durability. They purposefully chose to go with BDUs instead of Jump suits, TDUs or ACUs that are less outdated. Because it was the most 'dressier' uniform that still met the utility requirements for the intended application.
We do make a few modifications to it that makes it much more practical to use under body armor and what not.
Its driven by practical needs. In the prohibition days, police started using fully automatic weapons to match the state of the art in criminal weapons. That move was probably more 'military' than anything the police does today. (though, IMO, what was worse in making that any police decision seem 'military' is the fact that select fire weapons were heavily regulated after 1934, making availability more exclusive to the military and police)
We can see a steady movement from revolvers to automatic handguns. Today virtually all law enforcement agencies use automatic, higher capacity handguns.
This 'issue' of militarization of the police may be a lot older than we think. However, it is purely driven by the criminal threat, which happens to track the changing technologies. Its just a natural progression. Before fully automatic weapons were cheap to manufacture, criminals did not use them. Neither did the police. Before automatic handguns replaced the revolver as the handgun of choice, police did not see a need to pack additional firepower into issue handguns.
This 'trend' simply follows two things: 1. The state of the art in equipment 2. The need for police to stay a step ahead of threats they face.
7/21/2013 9:20am, #20
What's awesome is to get direct feedback on this discussion without it descending into...
Which is common on the Internet.