Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Better Late than Never?

Dunno how I feel about this...

Senators Criticize Growing Militarization of Local Police Departments
Senators on Tuesday criticized federal programs that outfit police departments with military gear, saying they waste funds and sow mistrust between law enforcement and the communities they police.

At a hearing called to examine what critics call police militarization, members of the Senate's homeland-security committee expressed deep skepticism toward some equipment used by local police departments.
The *lone* justification for all this military hardware was ONE police department in Oklahoma that resolved a man barricaded in his own home with an armored vehicle. The justification, mind you, was that the nearest big city with their own armored vehicle was two hours away.

Um, hello?

So you let the guy stew inside the house while the big city armored vehicle arrives. This is not justification for a small town police force to have an MRAP, folks.

Now, I'm heartened that folks on both sides of the political aisle are taking notice of this. It would have been nice if, they had noticed it a little earlier, mind you. Like, say, by 20 years or so. Maybe more. What worries me, of course, is that when both sides work together, we get stupid s**t thrown at us like the Defense of Marriage Act or Prohibition.

It does make you wonder, though. The left has a long history of distrusting the police - from the radicals in the 60s to the support of vile people like Mumia, to the LA riots in the wake of the Rodney King verdict, they rarely are on good terms with "The Man."

Why, then, are they the most vociferous that "only the police should have guns"?

That is all.

Another dispatch from...
(image courtesy of Robb Allen)


Papa Squirrel said...

Because now the left is "The Man". And they like it.

Anonymous said...

Yes it is generally best to let the guy stew, fall asleep or repent his sins.

SWAT also stands for Sit Wait And Talk.


Pam said...

I'm for anything that keeps police safe, and bring criminals to justice. However, like guns, this super-ordance needs to be used with discretion and wisdom.

Armed Texan said...

I think we can safely say that the experiment in militarizing police (and almost absolute immunity) has failed. Give all the equipment to the National Guard and then call them in if you truly do have a repeat '97 LA bank robbery (which is usually the singular and most common justification given by apologists for SWAT).

Here are the advantages for using the NG in place of SWAT when necessary:
1. As an outside group, the NG will not be as eager to jump and escalate the situation because fellow officers seemed to be in danger.
2. They do not need to find or create situations to justify the costs of training and maintenance.
3. Because the NG are outsiders and it will take them a little longer to respond, the police will probably be less likely to push the panic button and escalate the situation.

Of course there is one huge disadvantage: the National Guard are military and as such they will (and should) kill people and break things. The one retort I have for that is they are no different than a firearm; don't point it anyone unless you plan on them dying.

Old NFO said...

Interesting how 'blue' states seemed to have gotten most of the 'heavy' equipment... Red States mainly got M-16s...

Geodkyt said...

Armed texan -- I agree. If you really need a tank, it's probably best to have the tank driven by a qualified tank driver.

There are very few states that do not already have an armored unit as part of their National Guard componant -- which means that the governor can call them out anytime he wants to, for law enforcement duties.

If we really do need armored vehicles for civilian law enforcement (above and beyond an armored up SUV), Congress could mandate the formation of one Mech Infantry, Armor, Cavalry, or Combat Engineer ARNG unit in every state that does not currently have such a unit in their ARNG makeup. I think the only states that would be are Delaware and rhode Island -- Even Virginia has a Combat engineer unit with M9 ACE dozers that are even more bullet resistant than MRAPs. . .

I don't mind EVERY SINGLE COP having an AR, k-pot, and heavy body armor at their disposal. The armor can ride in teh trunk, and teh rifle in the rack up front just fine, without "militarizing" the police. (I do question the utility of a functional "Go Happy" switch on a POLICE rifle, but I'd even settle for the little National Guard gadget for riot control that installs under teh pistol grip and blocks the selector from going to AUTO or BURST. But, really? Full auto under POLICE ROE?!? Kind of a hard justification for anyone who's not on a highly trained SWAT team, and sketchy for even them.)