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  • Police and military equipment

    Was reading this article and watching this video today (from CNN) regarding a movement to stop PDs from getting military equipment, at least from the federal government.

    http://www.cnn.com/2015/05/18/politi...use/index.html

    Apparently 1911 pistols and M14s are big bad military-exclusive weapons that no PD should have.

    No, I do think that most SWAT teams even, probably don't need some of this stuff, let alone PDs or smaller PDs. Camo for instance and stuff like MRAPs seem a bit excessive (camo in a city/suburbs?!) although maybe heavier vehicles are prudent for major cities to have? They would be the most likely places for big threats which may require better protected vehicles and the like. That's how I see it anyways.

    But I also think that the article will probably give many readers the impression that all of law enforcement in general is a martial force intent on subjugating you to military occupation. But for instance what about those grenade launchers? Could they just be using them for tear gas? You call it a "grenade launcher" and all one thinks about is the "grenade" part. I highly doubt that explosive grenades are used because I think we would've known about that by now. And at least in the video it looked like in several of the shots they showed what I picture as a "typical" SWAT van/truck, when they were saying "APC" and such, and I'm sure many of those shots were of SWAT members(?).

    I know that some here are much more knowledgable than me on law enforcement matters, and I believe that they have also spoken about police armament and equipment before. I am not saying that over armament is not a thing, but I'm just wondering if anyone has information that would fill in the gaps that I sense are present in the information presented by the media here.
    Last edited by Super Six 4; 19 May 15, 14:32.
    "A foolish man thinks he knows everything if placed in unexpected difficulty; but he knows not what to answer, if to the test he is put."

    --Hávamál

  • #2
    There are two lines of reasoning I've seen supporting and opposing the "militarization" (para-militarization?) of the police force, and I can see both sides as having plenty of good sense.

    One the one hand the idea of police tooling around in military vehicles, sporting assault weapons on routine events, and otherwise becoming so imposing and frightening that we can't connect with them is a pretty big worry for those of us who are wary when it comes to government power. It also contrasts strongly with the ideal for many people where the police are an important part of the community and are more than just nameplates and kevlar. It also makes any potential abuse of power by the police so much more dangerous and frightening - the rise of SWATing and those much publicized wrongful deployments of heavily armed officers is trouble, to say the least.

    On the other hand those of us who don't like to see police coming home in body bags understand fully that we don't want North Hollywood-type shootouts where the criminals out-gun the cops. In a dangerous world where even "routine" traffic stops can become life and death situations and criminals pack automatic weapons and body armor, the idea that the police should be limited to blue uniforms and .38 service revolvers seems ludicrous. The police need the gear and equipment needed to not only react to appropriate situations, but to ensure that as many casualties as possible are prevented. Many times the deployment of strong or excessive force is not just for the protection of officers but civilians - and even the criminals too.

    The issue for me is that I strongly identify with both sides.

    I don't like the idea of the police becoming a paramilitary force that deploys tanks and automatic weapons at the drop of a hat, even if there isn't any trouble, just as a "precaution" - it's kinda hard to hold even a legal, peaceful demonstration properly if you're doing so under the guns of perhaps the same people you are protesting against.

    But at the same time in a world where gangbangers have submachine guns and even .50 sniper rifles can be deployed by scumbags, the men and women risking their lives to protect us and uphold our laws shouldn't be crippled by being denied what the need.

    I guess like many things in life it's the middle-ground that has to be found. The police force in Asscrack, MS (pop. 2,055) don't need ex-military tanks and a well-funded SWAT team, but the NYPD shouldn't be forced to tool around with pepper-spray and harsh language alone.

    If they actually do need it, then they should get it. But there should be plenty of oversight to ensure the need is real and not just "because we could". There has to be a balance.

    But then, when it comes to the lives of our men and women in blue, I sorta lean a bit more on the "let's me cautious and make sure they have anything they might need" side. I just feel like there is good reason to be careful whenever it comes to government organizations.

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    • #3
      MRAPs are a classic case of law enforcement going the way of "tacticool". They're designed for withstanding mines and IEDs. Although necessary for what they're used for, they're top heavy so prone to rollovers that the army actually needed to make a simulator to train soldiers how to survive and escape the vehicle when this happens. They were never intended to be civilian vehicles and they are so ruddy heavy that they damage the road. They are not only inappropriate for police use, they probably make the officers using them as much of a danger to themselves as the criminals.

      Fortunately where I live the friendly neighborhood schwerer panzerspähwagen has a low wheel base so we don't have to worry about some cowboy rolling it onto somebody's car while taking a tight turn.
      Last edited by Pirateship1982; 18 May 15, 16:48.
      A new life awaits you in the off world colonies; the chance to begin again in a golden land of opportunity and adventure!

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Pirateship1982 View Post
        Although necessary for what they're used for, they're top heavy so prone to rollovers that the army actually needed to make a simulator to train soldiers how to survive and escape the vehicle when this happens.
        I agree with what you are saying but need to clarify a little.....

        The first rollover trainers were for the HUMVEE, it wasn't because they are prone to roll over but because when hit with an IED....they were prone to end up on their sides. The up-armored doors are heavy, this is what drive the requirement for the rollover trainer.

        The attached picture is of the HEAT (HUMVEE) in green and the MET (MRAP) in tan.
        Last edited by Nichols; 26 Apr 18, 23:18.
        "I don't discuss sitting presidents," Mattis tells NPR in an interview. "I believe that you owe a period of quiet."

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        • #5
          Camouflage is worn for visual recognition, not to hide, and because its cheap and durable.

          MRAPs are excellent police vehicles-we're getting one. Its en route to a company which will strip away the anti-mine armor, and military hardware mounts, rebuild the transmission, remove some fuel storage, and install some needed gear storage and mounts. They'll also sandblast it and repaint.

          When they're done it will be within legal street weight, with small-arms-proof side armor and a frame solid enough to deploy a ram.

          These are essential for deploying a team safely to or from a situation, extracting wounded or cornered bystanders (especially critical in school shootings), and above all serving as a superb distraction element in confrontations with barricaded subjects.

          They save a lot of lives every year, nationwide.

          There is a serious misunderstanding that the size of the population served has some impact on the capabilities needed by local LE, and it is extremely and dangerously wrong. Fringe groups deliberately head for the boonies where police assets are the thinnest.

          Waco is a prime example: it took the combined efforts of 17 local and state agencies to bring sufficient manpower to cope with what was only part of the Bandito/Cossack manpower.

          This ain't the 1950s anymore. There are groups in the USA which outnumber and out-gun the police resources of sizeable areas. To date they have not successfully flexed that muscle, but its a matter of when, not if. The backlash of such an event will result in a rapid acceleration of the militarization of the police.

          So as always, it boils down to two choices: bury your head in the sand until events force vast and dramatic change (the 9/11 scenario), or acknowledge that there is a problem and move to keep it under control.
          Any man can hold his place when the bands play and women throw flowers; it is when the enemy presses close and metal shears through the ranks that one can acertain which are soldiers, and which are not.

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          • #6
            Crooks are getting their hands on rocket launchers, grenade launchers and automatic weapons and Obama (the coward that he is.) is banning the police from having the tools to protect themselves is just as bad as gutting our military. He needs to quit now. Does anyone remember what happened in 1997 in North Hollywood were 2 bank robbers held up a bank with AKs and the L.A.P.D. just barley held on until SWAT come in with their AR-15s and with some the officers on scene were able to get form a nearby gun store were able to stop the robbers. Violence is rising instead of weakening the police we need to bolster them, instead of spitting on them (because of the bad actions of a few) we should thank them. The police are not the bad guys it's those that break the law are.

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