Police Departments Weigh In On The Use Of Military Gear

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 9 months ago

LA Times:

The department has posted the list, complete with pictures, on its SPD Blotter website. It includes floatation vests and binoculars, signage and gloves, pistol holders, a radiation detector and rifle sights “used by the approximately 130 officers who have passed the department’s rifle-certification program.”

“We have equipment that we feel is necessary for a city of our size,” Whitcomb told The Times. “The equipment we have serves a police purpose. Our No. 1 priorities are protecting people’s lives and looking after their well-being. Our second most important is looking after possessions and property.

“The gear that our department employees use … is primarily defensive in nature,” Whitcomb said. “Our equipment is police specific. We don’t have any military weaponry. The weapons we do own are specific to our profession. … No rockets, no predator drones, no cannons, no tanks.”

The department’s SWAT team does use a BearCat – an armored truck for situations where there may be gunfire, Whitcomb said, but such a vehicle is standard operating procedure for modern police departments.

“It’s used to get our personnel in and out safely, so we can rescue people and evacuate if necessary,” Whitcomb said. “You cannot do that in a sedan. Though we have put some armored plating on the doors in our cars. We also have purchased ballistic shields. It all goes back to the problem of gun violence in our country. … But ultimately we are a police service. We are not the military.”

This is a red herring.  Only seven percent of all SWAT deployments are for hostage, barricades or active shooter situations.

So here’s the deal.  To the Seattle Police Department, you are liars.  I don’t believe you since you invoked a rarely used justification for having SWAT.

What you really want to do is use SWAT to save evidence by busting in doors and invading homes.  Frankly, I don’t give a damn about your evidence collection.  Find another way, including the old fashioned use of detective work.  Or in other words, be thinking men and women rather than knuckle draggers.

You promise me that you’ll never use SWAT in incidents unless it involves hostages or active shooters, and I’ll take back my charge that you’re liars.

Any takers among the PDs who read these pages?  I’m waiting.

And by the way, that picture of the police “sniper” shows it to be absolutely the goofiest setup on a rifle I’ve ever seen.  I certainly wouldn’t use that setup.  You can read more here if you wish.  I’m just not interested enough to elucidate the details for you.  Readers may wish to weigh in.  And I wonder how the U.S. Marine Corps feels about this jerk wearing MARPAT?

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  • precision32

    You sure don’t know much about rifles do you? That rifle is set up for proper eye relief of the scope when the rifle is held properly. Being both a gunsmith and marksmanship instructor I know a little about rifles.

  • http://captainsjournal.com/ Herschel Smith

    Uh huh.
    Well, everyone knows what a scope is. Everyone knows what eye relief means. No one said anything about eye relief. Thanks for playing. Come back when you can actually contribute to the conversation.

  • GreyStranger

    Seriously precision32… I doubt your credentials. You see, I am actually a combat veteran, trained sniper, and have been deployed multiple times in theaters across the world. I too know “a little about rifles”,So when you babble about a scope being set up for proper eye relief, you betray your ignorance of combat/policing scenarios. Either sight setup would be fine depending on the mission, but only a mall ninja uses a scope for close in fire. Holo-sights work great at short ranges (10-300 yards), and Scopes are perfect for when you really need to reach-out-and-touch someone (300+ yards) but having both on a weapon when you are sitting on top of a vehicle smacks of stupid. Also having both a foldable bipod, and a tripod rest is pointless. Use one or the other, not both. Having lots of “Cool Thingys” attached to your weapon might be neat in a video game, but in real life it weighs down the front-end and decreases accuracy. Lastly, the guy is wearing a helmet. Helmet +scope= decreased accuracy. I love the mall ninja cops with their helmets… In the real world, a .308 will punch a neat little round hole right thru both sides even at range (as demonstrated by my marksmanship instructor). So before you criticize others for their lack of knowledge, learn a little yourself.

  • JRT

    The problem I have with the militarization of the police is
    that it breaks their mindset from supporting a community to the enforcement of
    law by tactical mentalities where they are engaged with the “enemy”. I believe
    this is the core problem with our police forces in America. This is the key
    that started the Catch-22 where people stopped believing in the police because
    of their more aggressive stance when they used to believe in the police because
    they knew the people that they served. We as a society, have made great strides
    in getting the police back on the street by using more foot patrols, bicycle
    patrols, and direct neighborhood activities but situations such as the trooper
    who was arresting the news agency people (1) directly undermine these efforts.
    I don’t care if he was tired, I don’t care if he was annoyed. He is supposed to
    be a professional at all times. He is supposed to have the training and the
    mental fortitude to be able to stand above the situations and act in a calm and
    supportive yet enforcing manner

    In is one who does not like to just complain my solutions

    take away SWAT from law enforcement.

    Banned police officers from wearing all black, they are not ninja.

    Banned police officers from wearing camouflage, they are not Mall ninja

    banned police officers from fully automatic weapons, semi-autos should be
    issued to all officers.

    Move the tactical operations teams to the National Guard directly under the
    governor of the state. These tactical teams will consist of national guardsmen
    who have taken additional training in MOUT and enhance training for civilian
    operations. These teams we located in the areas that the old SWAT units were
    stationed. We need for a tactical team arises the law enforcement dispatcher
    contacts the civilian affairs, that verifies that a tactical team is justified
    for a predetermined risk assessment and is directly dispatched from that civilian
    affairs team. The civilian affairs team will also verify search warrants for
    legality and risk assessment to both the civilian, police and military safety.
    Tactical teams will not wear black nor military camouflage but the identified
    by bold blue and white uniform and particular patterns with easily seen and
    clearly identifiable police markings.

    Not only would this method serve as a check and balance
    against abuse but also allow the police to be reintegrated into the communities
    not as government warriors but as the peace officer they should be.

    (1) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WQaejUTs5iY

    Precision 32
    I believe the author is eluting to the disparity that the police are justifying
    the use of military grade equipment and Tactics because of a direct threat to
    officer safety. While at the same time, there is a “sniper” wearing military
    camouflage sitting on top of a van with a weapon propped up on a 2 foot tripod completely
    and fully exposed. If the issue truly was about officer safety, the person in
    question would be behind cover and concealment.

  • jrt

    Sorry for the typos I was in a hurry and did not check to see what spell check corrected.

  • Ned Weatherby

    I think you nailed it, GS!

  • Dennis

    Copy that, I am an instructor as well and I can tell you right now that is such a goofy position it almost laughable, if it were not for the fact the idiot was pointing a loaded weapon at other wise seemingly non violent people.
    A proper overwatch would be concealed and out of range with appropriate cover. This Bozo is a sitting duck and if it were real time he would be a bullet magnet.

  • Dennis

    Alas a crime of passion…. :)

  • Tim

    I’ll take your goofiest and raise you one.

  • TexTopCat

    SWAT teams need to be used only rarely and should have to show a judge justification before they can be deployed. “No Knock Warrants” should never be allowed. Any item a police officer can access should be available to all citizens of the area where he is deployed. The idea that police have justification to use force beyond that needed for self defense or defense of others is wrong. If an M-16 is required to protect police officers, it is required for the home owner to protect his home.

  • Mitch Rapp

    Scope is dead center. Just a weird looking rail mount.

  • Josh

    Lights don’t belong on rifles. They alter harmonics and make the rifle less accurate at range. Uncovered glass does not belong on sniper rifles – that betrays the shooter’s position. That shooter does not belong on the rifle, and the MARPAT does not belong on him. That rifle does not belong in a position of civilian overwatch. Not in this case, anyway.

    Lots of things out of place, if you ask me. The goon looks like he just stepped out of Call of Duty.

  • Firehand

    Just ran across this post from Steyn, borrowing a piece:
    …Watch the St Louis County deputy ordering everyone to leave, and then adding: “This is not up for discussion.”

    Really? You’re a constable. You may be carrying on like the military
    commander of an occupying army faced with a rabble of revolting natives,
    but in the end you’re a constable. And the fact that you and your
    colleagues in that McDonald’s are comfortable speaking to your fellow
    citizens like this is part of the problem. The most important of the “nine principles of good policing”
    (formulated by the first two commissioners of the Metropolitan Police
    in 1829 and thereafter issued to every officer joining the force) is a
    very simple one: The police are the public and the public are the
    police. Not in Ferguson. Long before the teargassing begins and the
    bullets start flying, the way these guys talk is the first indication of how the remorseless militarization has corroded the soul of American policing.


  • http://captainsjournal.com/ Herschel Smith

    Doohickeys do indeed alter the harmonics of the barrel unless it is floated. I don’t know in this case, but he doesn’t need all that other crap on his rifle since he is treating it as a long distance firearm. Rifle + glass = “rifle is fine”

    For a CQB AR-15 (which he DOES NOT have), a light, EOTech, foregrip, are okay if they are attached to rail that isn’t attached to the barrel.

    I still can’t get over that MARPAT. How presumptuous.

  • VonZorch Imperial Researcher

    It seems obvious he was only there for intimidation value.

  • Josh

    Although I’ve nothing good to say about the violent protestors, I watched a live stream from Vice News last night. The reporter was running around the streets following protestors and police.

    I can comfortably say the police are both incompetent and absolutely instigating the protestors. I watched as a group of about 100 matching protestors moved along peacefully down a sidewalk, going AWAY from the police. The cops then rushed in with two armored vehicles – one equipped with a LRAD – stopped the group from moving, surrounded them, and then proceeded to dismount with shotguns and scream at the group to keep moving or be arrested.

    The police behaved like little children. The cops on the loudspeakers had no idea how to interact with protestors. It was very obvious the cops were truly looking for a fight.

  • Bill Daigle

    This is strictly my opinion and I am not a lawyer , cop or malefactor…but, Has anyone noticed that the two most dangerous groups of people to the Traditional American way of life are shooting at each other ??? Race has nothing to do with the danger each group brings. One is the leaching criminal element who wants nothing but a free ride and the other is the over the top militarized police who are in a continual state of diminishing our Constitutional freedoms….jus sayin’

You are currently reading "Police Departments Weigh In On The Use Of Military Gear", entry #12624 on The Captain's Journal.

This article is filed under the category(s) Guns,Police,SWAT Raids and was published August 17th, 2014 by Herschel Smith.

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