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WaPo - Overkill: The Latest Trend in Policing

Discussion in 'Legal' started by F4GIB, Feb 6, 2006.

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  1. F4GIB

    F4GIB Member

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  2. GTSteve03

    GTSteve03 Member

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    Simple answer. Police officers are more concerned nowadays about going home to their families and covering their own butts than actually helping to keep social order. That's why you see such gross overuse of force and weapons that back in the day wouldn't even be dreamed of in a big Mafia bust. They're simply more concerned about themselves than the people they are employed to protect. :scrutiny:
     
  3. joab

    joab Member

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    I agree LEOS should be limited to their side arms and shotguns in extreme situations. It worked well enough for them in LA and Miami
     
  4. fjolnirsson

    fjolnirsson Member

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    For the most part, I've found this to be true. The reason? The training. In the academy I attended, we were reminded daily of "Rule # 1 of policework-go home alive." We were taught that our safety was much more important than that of non police officers. We were told to always err on the side of "officer safety". It's systematic conditioning of the mind.

    It's too bad, really. It serves to drive in that wedge between police and the rest of us that much further. But really, there are so many things pushing on that wedge, from both sides. Sad.
     
  5. Mad Chemist

    Mad Chemist Member

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    You are being sarcastic, right? These guys, :rolleyes: :rolleyes: make it a little more obvious.

    Occasionally, cops need things like Evil Black Rifles and accurate long-range weapons. Although they don't use them often, it still helps to have the appropriate tools when they are needed. I'm more concerned with my local PD's tactics and training. There is an obvoius need here for our city police force. There have never been any SNAFUs involving special weapons here, but there have been plenty involving character and training or lack therof.

    JH
     
  6. fjolnirsson

    fjolnirsson Member

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    Not at all. There's no reason why cops shouldn't have acess to Ar-15s and such. However, surrounding a non violent subject with heavily armed men is a bit of overkill. The LA bank robbery was an excellent example of why cops need access to superior firepower, if that's the one you mean. Which Miami incident were you refering to? The only one I can think of offhand is the FBI shootout, where the agents didn't take their jobs seriously enough to use the equipment they were provided with.
     
  7. buzz_knox

    buzz_knox Member

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    There's middle ground between unarmed bobbies and cops looking to be Delta Force.

    The issue ultimately comes down to the inherent conflict between officer safety and suspect/public rights and safety. For years, the pendulum has swung in favor of the former at the expense of the latter. So, officers were safer as no knock warrants, SWAT operations for menial crimes (i.e. being a bookie), and the "officer safety above all else" mentality. The cost was that when the cops made mistakes, civilians paid the price. Personally, I think a lot of the actions were incredibly short sighted, looking for a temporary gain in exchange for a long term loss. The officers may be safer in a given situation, but the long term effect is loss of trust, respect, willingness to cooperate, willingness to fund budgets, and, eventually, the conversion of "us vs. them" going from an attitude I've heard cops express from their own mouths (usually bemoaning what is being taught to younger recruits) to actual battle lines.
     
  8. progunner1957

    progunner1957 member

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    "Officials" outlook: "Shut up, pay your taxes and mind your own business!!"

    County residents can "ask themselves" till they are blue in the face - and "officials" will do whatever they want, not what We The People want (as is the custom for "officials").:fire: :fire:
     
  9. pcf

    pcf Member

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    Steve, read about a guy named Frank Hamer, or these fellows known as Pinkerton detectives, and then tell us about weapons and tactics that cops could only dream of using.

    There's too much money being thrown at police departments from local governments and DHS. Either they have to justify the intake of funds or lose them. When the government throws money at an unidentified problem, new ones emerge. It's not "Officer safety" that's the problem, the problem is that there are too many SWAT teams, many have been haphazardly thrown together to justify spending money, and now they need a justification to exist.
     
  10. M-Rex

    M-Rex member

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    I have to agree. What with all the litigious special interest groups, cop-hating bigots, money-sniffing lawyers, politically correct administrations, vacuous civilian review boards, and anarchistic civil libertarian nutjobs, I'm surprised that good people still make it a career.

    Not to mention the bonafied criminal element.:rolleyes:
     
  11. TequilaMockingbird

    TequilaMockingbird Member

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    The gun did it!

    Also unlikely that the officer will get anything more than a slap on the wrist. Dimes to doughnuts that no officer will be even fired, much less indicted over this homicide.

    Can you imagine the consequences if a citizen's gun "discharged" unintentionally and killed an officer? They'd charge him with capital murder.

    It's unlikely that any "investigation" of the incident will be anything more than a whitewash designed to assure the sheep that this was merely an tragic isolated incident.

    Let's hope his family hires a good trial lawyer for the civil lawsuit. Were I to sit on that jury, I'd mete out some stiff justice to Fairfax if appropriate.:cuss:
     
  12. Bartholomew Roberts

    Bartholomew Roberts Moderator Emeritus

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    Well considering police are doing a job that I don't want to have to do myself; I support them having the same tools I use for my own less serious needs such as semi-auto rifles and pistols.

    At the same time, I think that there is a certain desire to justify the expenditure on equipment and training by using this equipment in situations where a softer approach would probably be more successful. Then again, I don't have a lot of the negative experiences that these guys do... I can see where it might be difficult from that side of the fence to know when to play it easy and when to bring out the big guns.
     
  13. Otherguy Overby

    Otherguy Overby member

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    Here's how I feel.

    Police should comply with ALL gun control law in their particular state.

    IOW, in CA police weapons should be transported locked in the trunk unloaded and magazines empty. They should apply for CCW licenses and receive them at no more than the average rate for citizens in their locality. If they take the weapons home all safe storage laws apply.

    Police pen carry should be legal only where it is permitted for civilians. Police shall disarm prior to entering any "gun free" zone and "safely" store their weapons in their vehicles only if the vehicles are somewhere it is legal or the vehicles must be moved.

    CA police should face a felony charge if their evil black rifle was not registered prior to 2001 per CA law. Oh and discharging a weapon from inside a vehicle is a felony.

    New issue police handguns will be subject to DROS, NCIC, any other requirements and a 10 business day waiting period, too.

    IOW, any restrictions of civilian rights shall be applied equally to all, including JBTs.

    Finally, if the police don't like the law, they should vote to change it.

    It's for the children and if it just saves one life...
     
  14. fjolnirsson

    fjolnirsson Member

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    Otherguy,

    I'd vote for you.
     
  15. GTSteve03

    GTSteve03 Member

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    Hamer used .38 Supers and semi-auto hunting rifles. Stuff that everyone could still order and own as far as I could tell, back then. In fact it's funny how apparently inadequate the much-vaunted .45ACP was against body armor from the Prohibition era!

    The Pinkertons seemed to be quite notorious for killing striking workers for large corporate sponsors. Just the type of people to be emulating, I see!

    I don't see anyone forcing the departments to spend the money on SWAT teams. I think the problem is at least partially the "big boy toys" syndrome with the departments wanting to spend the money on shiny new guns that they can "rock and roll" with.
     
  16. Thefabulousfink

    Thefabulousfink Member

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    Should police officers have access (and be trained in the use of) body-armor, assault rifles, SMGs, and sniper rifles: Yes.

    Should they use them at every opportunity(sp): Of course not.
     
  17. GTSteve03

    GTSteve03 Member

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    Agreed, but only to a certain extent. Not ALL police officers need that kind of training, nor should they. The police are there first and foremost to enforce the peace, and you don't do that by militarizing and turning your own constituents against you with overt shows of unnecessary force.
     
  18. joab

    joab Member

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    But that takes all the fun out of it..

    When officers are greeted with civility by the worst criminal when they come to arrest them and when a simple domestic call or a traffic stop stop being the number one deadly encounter for LEOs then I support giving them anything they need, with in reason. If I can own it they should have official access to it.

    If dressing like ninja commandos gives them an edge without violating my rights then let them wear fifty pounds of tac gear to make a traffic stop if it pleases them.

    I tend not to put much stock in scary appearances, the last official group that did banned a bunch of stuff
     
  19. Northwet

    Northwet Member

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    Overseas cops

    I spent more than 10 years overseas in the military. Most police officers there carry submachine guns and no one was concerned about it. Its a matter of perspective, I guess. As far as SWAT overseas, there are anti-terrorist police as well as military police, such as the Italian Carbineris and Turkish Jannasaries.
    Probably a few horror stories out there but I saw respect on both sides and no problems.
    North'wet"
     
  20. Otherguy Overby

    Otherguy Overby member

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    Being a cab driver, pizza delivery guy or convenience store worker is much more hazardous than being a cop. Shouldn't they have the same gear and arms?
     
  21. The Drew

    The Drew Member

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    The reality is that there is too much money being spent on equipment and not enough on good old training. And the training that IS given is militaristic in nature.

    There are FEW times that military tactics should be used in order to make an arrest or to stop a bad guy or several bad guys, However many local LEO organizations use any chance they get to justify breaking out all the toys...

    If the focus was put back on good solid policework and enforcement, the wedge between the police and the people can start to heal....
     
  22. Bigreno

    Bigreno Member

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    Thank you Mrs. Brady. Your opinions have been noted.


    ...because we all know that criminals legally stow their weapons before going on a rampage in a school or robbing a bank.:scrutiny:

    Why is it when something goes wrong all of a sudden it becomes an issue of equipment? It automaticly goes from not operating in line with SOP and training to "well they should not go around looking like military and this wouldn't happen." It parallels the anti's views about gun control. If it looks scary, it's has to be bad and they shouldn't be allowed to have it. What a load of BS. I don't care if they set up machinegun implacements and rope in from Blackhawks as long as SOP's are followed and the gear is used in accordance with it's design.

    Remeber guys, big black scary guns don't kill people. Men with their head up their rear while handling them do. Don't blame the gear when the operation goes bad.
     
  23. Brett Bellmore

    Brett Bellmore Member

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    The problem is, way too often the police are doing a job NOBODY should be doing. We've got a WAR on "drugs", really on that portion of the citizenry that choses to use them, why should we be suprised at the police turning into soldiers, or treating the country as an occupied territory?
     
  24. RioShooter

    RioShooter Member

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    Standard Practice

    Very perceptive observation!

    From the local Fairfax paper:

    Fairfax County Police standard practice is to use SWAT teams in the execution of search warrants.
     
  25. Sam

    Sam Member

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    Law enforcement officers should stick to enforcing the law as opposed to becoming the semi militarized force they are trying to become. I don't mind if they want to keep a few gunfighters on the payroll for when uglieness happens, but Joe Average Cop needs to keep a lower profile to do his job.

    The militarization of police forces around the country stems from many causes, primarily:
    1. The need to absorb an excess of funds available from sources that had no right to extort them from the public
    2. Elected officials and police chiefs who are on a bit of a power trip and want to keep up with the Jonses in the next jurisdiction.
    3. a throw more dollars at it mentality

    Particularly agravating is thier insistance on refering to the citizenry as "civillians":
    New Webster's Unabridged Dictionary
    1. One who is skilled in civil or Roman law.
    2. Any person not in military or naval service

    Time to get off the high horse boys

    Sam
     
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