What is the effect of police forces becoming militarized?

Discussion in 'Free Speech Alley' started by Winston1, Mar 22, 2014.

  1. Winston1

    Winston1 Senior Member

    This article asks a valid question. Police are increasingly using military tools and tactics in routine arrests. http://www.businessinsider.com/why-...ail&utm_source=alerts&nr_email_referer=1There are pros and cons to using SWAT teams and tactics. It is safer for the police in dangerous situations. It can also lead suspects to surrender rather than fight or flee, all worthy objects.

    However there is a downside as well. Many actions are taken against non violent suspects including sending a SWAT team into a bar suspected of serving underage drinkers and killing a 92 year old woman who mistook the police for robbers and then the police planted marijuana on her. Also they receive a lot of money including seizure of goods taken in raids.
    There is no doubt there is a place for SWAT teams in police but are they going too far?
  2. red55

    red55 curmudgeon Staff Member

    Some of them are going way too far. One of the unexpected blowbacks from the Post-9/11 Homeland Security "improvements" was that thousands of small law enforcement agencies received SWAT gear, military weapons, armored cars, and other para-military equipment that they really did not need. That has not stopped them from using them for matters entirely inappropriate. The EBR sheriff now has a patrol boat with machine guns and grenade launchers. Better not get caught running another man's trot lines . . .

    There was a damn good reason that Andy only let Barney have one bullet which he had to keep in his pocket.
    LSUsupaFan and gyver like this.
  3. Tiger in NC

    Tiger in NC Senior Member

    I don't particularly care for this trend either. There were a host of knee jerk reactions after 9/11, many of them well-intended at the time, that now need reconsideration and this is one of them IMO. That said, it will be hard to reverse the trend.
    gyver likes this.
  4. shane0911

    shane0911 Veteran Member Staff Member

    Training Training and more Training.

    With a healthy dose of very experienced leadership making the CORRECT calls and we have no issue here.

    I have no problem with the police having fancy doo dads to play with. Beings they are to "protect and serve" they should also be provided with the proper training and with that I mean a lot of it taking place inside a classroom as well as multiple psyche evals to make sure they are fit for duty. Going back to the thread where the cop shot the old man on a cane, that dude probably doesn't need to be on the force. In fact there are probably A LOT of cops that don't need to be playing with said doo dads.

    Just gotta have the right people for the job. Unfortunately I don't think we do.
    gyver likes this.
  5. red55

    red55 curmudgeon Staff Member

    When the police farce is half full of Barneys, all we can do is take away their bullet.
    shane0911 likes this.
  6. Winston1

    Winston1 Senior Member

    Training yes but leadership as well. The local police chiefs and sheriffs haven't provided leadership in the form of training, standards or restraint. Why is a SWAT team being used in many of the operations noted in the article?
    The lure of money and material from the feds, money from seizures is also hard to resist.
    Each jurisdiction needs to create standards of training and use of these tools. They also need to have some means to monitor, measure and enforce the control and management of SWAT teams.
  7. shane0911

    shane0911 Veteran Member Staff Member

    Yeah, that is what I said junior, follow along.

    The problem is the Sheriff doesn't possess the skills/attributes to provide that training. It is the blind leading the blind. Just as @red55 said, they are a bunch of barneys and to a great extent he is 100% correct. I don't know much about 'ankeny, Iowa' but I would venture to say they are in no more need of a S.W.A.T team than they are an elevated train. I'd bet the same is true for most towns. There should be extensive qualifications that have to be met before these hicks are given the keys to a destruction wagon.
  8. red55

    red55 curmudgeon Staff Member

    This is my thinking. Baton Rouge may need a SWAT team. St. Francisville does not. But accountability is the real issue here. Police have a too-high sense of being entitled to do almost anything they want behind that badge. They know right from wrong, but all too often get power-trippy.

    I heard something interesting the other day. Some police departments are having their officers wear body video cameras that look like half-size iPhones and velcro to the officers vest. Video evidence solidifies their cases. Interestingly, since the officers have been on video, complaints of officer abuse have dropped over 50% in one police district. When people are looking, police behave.
    HalloweenRun and Winston1 like this.
  9. shane0911

    shane0911 Veteran Member Staff Member

    Or is it that when the whole thing is on camera and it is no longer a "he said" "he did" thing that the perps no longer have grounds to claim abuse? Possibly a little of both.
  10. HalloweenRun

    HalloweenRun I'll try to be nicer, if you try to be smarter!

    I will NEVER FORGET the images of the heavily armed police cowering behind the dumpster while children were being gunned down at Columbine.

    Andy and Barney did a damn fine job, with one bullet between them.

    If you talk to many police officers, you realize real quick that most are pretty dim bulbs. Increasing their firepower is a huge mistake.

    Winning a lawsuit is fine, but not if a loved one is in the grave due to one of these yahoos screwing up.
    LSUDad likes this.

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