From JPFO--Long, Potentially Polarizing - Page 2

From JPFO--Long, Potentially Polarizing

This is a discussion on From JPFO--Long, Potentially Polarizing within the Law Enforcement, Military & Homeland Security Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; There is nothing fringe nor political about questioning the militarization of local PDs. Attempting to paint people who have issues with it as whacked out ...

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Thread: From JPFO--Long, Potentially Polarizing

  1. #16
    Member Array Holger's Avatar
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    There is nothing fringe nor political about questioning the militarization of local PDs. Attempting to paint people who have issues with it as whacked out extremists is disingenuous and, frankly, a bit ignorant. If the local citizenry has issues with the behavior of local public servants, its unwise to disregard it as fringe talk. They pay your salaries.

    Choosing to "say no more" is a wise move when everyone else is right.


  2. #17
    Member Array Impetus's Avatar
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    The LEO's down here in Broward like to get tacti-cool sometimes, but not in my part of the county. It never bothered me much, as I don't risk getting shot at on a daily basis like they do, so I never saw it as my place to judge what protective gear they choose. I grew up in a military family, so the sounds of boots usually just meant dad was home. Military=good to me. But I can see where people are coming from on this one.
    "If it ain't a mess, it'll do till the mess gets here."
    -Sheriff Bell, No Country for Old Men

  3. #18
    Senior Member Array TheGreatGonzo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Holger View Post
    Choosing to "say no more" is a wise move when everyone else is right.
    So you believe you speak for "everyone"? That is a pretty broad mandate. And, as taxpayers, we also pay our own salaries. I don't think there is anything "fringe" or "extremists" about the citizenry served by a law enforcement agency expressing their opinions/concerns about how they operate and how they are equipped. On the other hand, just as there are those who are those tax-paying citizens who staunchly oppose BDU's and M4's for police officers, there are just as many equally tax-paying citizens who ardently support it. Their opinions and concerns can no more be discounted or considered "fringe" or "extremist" than yours. At the end of the day, the vast majority of police chiefs and sheriff's are politicians, not cops. They will bow to the will of the majority because they want to keep their jobs. Don't like what your local sheriff is doing? Vote him/her out of office.

    The pictures above appear to be tactical/SWAT teams, not regular patrol officers in their day-to-day uniforms. Could be wrong, but that is what they appear to be. Appropriate outfits and gear for day-to-day patrol? No, not in my opinion. Appropriate for tactical/SWAT teams? Yes, I think so. If I were still on patrol (or I were outfitting a patrol agency), I would opt for cargo pants (khaki) and polo style shirts. Accomplishes the same goals as as BDU's (comfortable; durable; easy to clean; safer; etc), but looks more professional and less military. Definitely more "user friendly" when dealing with the public than black BDU's and external body armor. Just my opinion. I don't speak for "everyone".
    Gonzo
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  4. #19
    Senior Member Array TheGreatGonzo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Holger View Post


    Richland County, SC (Columbia, SC).

    Quote Originally Posted by Holger View Post
    I think there are times special tactics units are appropriate, but I don't want to feel like I'm getting stopped by the 10th Mtn Div when I'm going 10 over the speed limit.

    Above appears to be the RCSO tactical team. Below appears to be the uniform of the normal Sheriff's Deputy who you might expect to pull you over on a traffic stop. Not nearly so militarized looking. Looks like a standard traditional police uniform, in fact.
    Gonzo
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  5. #20
    Senior Member Array TheGreatGonzo's Avatar
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    I would simply add this: I think it is unwise to marginalize or ignore any citizen who expresses their opinion about law enforcement operations. The fact that we have the freedom to do so is one of the major differences between this country and several others I have visited. I have been to more than one place where, should you openly criticize the police authority, you are very likely to vanish in the night, never to return. Questioning our government, at every level, is a healthy thing. Ultimately, citizens are the only true watchdog for the government.

    I was a private citizen before I became a LEO. One day I will retire and become one again. Will I be willing to voice my concerns if I believe the law enforcement structure in my area is acting inappropriately? Bet your bottom dollar! Just the same as I will be the first to step up and say "job well done" and "thank you for your service" to the ones doing the right thing. But even more than that, as a current LEO, I have a deep and abiding obligation to watch carefully how we tread as law enforcement. Otherwise, how can I possibly know whether what we are doing is right or wrong? If things ever reach a point where I believe it is time to turn in my badge, the only way I would be able to recognize it is to keep an open mind and be willing to acknowledge problems when they exist.

    Just my opinion,
    Gonzo
    "Skin that smokewagon!".

  6. #21
    Member Array Deuce130's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheGreatGonzo View Post
    I would simply add this: I think it is unwise to marginalize or ignore any citizen who expresses their opinion about law enforcement operations. The fact that we have the freedom to do so is one of the major differences between this country and several others I have visited. I have been to more than one place where, should you openly criticize the police authority, you are very likely to vanish in the night, never to return. Questioning our government, at every level, is a healthy thing. Ultimately, citizens are the only true watchdog for the government.

    I was a private citizen before I became a LEO. One day I will retire and become one again. Will I be willing to voice my concerns if I believe the law enforcement structure in my area is acting inappropriately? Bet your bottom dollar! Just the same as I will be the first to step up and say "job well done" and "thank you for your service" to the ones doing the right thing. But even more than that, as a current LEO, I have a deep and abiding obligation to watch carefully how we tread as law enforcement. Otherwise, how can I possibly know whether what we are doing is right or wrong? If things ever reach a point where I believe it is time to turn in my badge, the only way I would be able to recognize it is to keep an open mind and be willing to acknowledge problems when they exist.

    Just my opinion,
    Gonzo
    +1. Sounds pretty fair and measured to me - nicely said.

  7. #22
    Distinguished Member Array Rexster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Holger View Post
    There is nothing fringe nor political about questioning the militarization of local PDs. Attempting to paint people who have issues with it as whacked out extremists is disingenuous and, frankly, a bit ignorant. If the local citizenry has issues with the behavior of local public servants, its unwise to disregard it as fringe talk. They pay your salaries.

    Choosing to "say no more" is a wise move when everyone else is right.
    Well, maybe it is because I am a Texas LEO, where a private citizen has almost as much arrest power as a peace officer, where even the "liberals" own defensive weapons, where the legislature has clearly made it illegal for the state to confiscate firearms during emergencies, where LEOs are to be found as members of many civic and private organizations, acting just like normal folks, this us-versus-them stuff just doesn't resonate with private citizens or LEOs. Moreover, we all distrust the feds, and tell them as much. I once heard our DA state in a courtroom, that Texas is a sovereign state, not an occupied territory. If there was any us-versus-them during incidents such as the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, and the hits from Rita and Ike, is was friction between local LEOs and the feds.

    The only co-workers of mine who seemed anti-gun, were the ones who came from the various People's Republiks, when we couldn't hire enough locals back during the expansion of the 1980's.

    I don't know any of my colleagues who routinely disarm motorists during traffic stops.

    I don't know any my co-workers who would do the following, and I certainly resent the implication that I would:

    "A recent case in point. Two county sheriff’s deputies showed up at the doorstep of a man out west who had expressed his contempt for Nancy Pelosi and and other federal politicians in letters and emails. These deputies, saying that the FBI had sent them, interrogated the man, threatened him “with Leavenworth” and engaged in intimidation of political speech. These local cops, having no jurisdiction to do anything of the sort, would have been laughed off of my porch here in Alabama and told to bugger off and return with real federal cops, if that was in fact their intention. Too often these days, when the federal man says “frog” many of you merely ask “how high?”

    This is inaccurate:

    "Because here’s the essential thing: you, ALL OF YOU, took an oath to, among other things, “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” You swore that, the overwhelming majority of you, to God. Did you think that oath had a shelf life? Do you think that now that you have by your reckoning faithfully upheld that oath for, say, twenty years now that tomorrow it is okay to forget it? You swore, whether you realized it at the time or not, an OATH, before GOD, and it was a LIFETIME oath."

    I do take my oath seriously; I know I work for the people, but my oath was nothing like that. Perhaps some military oaths sound like that. Does the author of these words want militarization of the police, or not? If not, don't try to pin a militaristic oath on me.

    I know very well that I need the public more than the public needs me. The public hires me to perform certain labors for them, because the division of labor is a basic part of a society. Criminals are scared of anyone that will blast a hole through their anatomy, and while Texas citizens can use deadly force under MORE circumstances than police, due to the constraints of Garner-vs-TN, and most agency's policies, it is the ability of police to quickly summon reinforcements, and communicate with other units, allowing us to respond in force, that causes criminals headaches.

    Oh, and FWIW, I didn't leave my post during Rita or Ike. NOPD is no poster child for US law enforcement. (For that matter, Louisiana's Third-World justice system is not typical.) Their problems were legendary before Katrina. We rode out Ike inside a concrete parking garage, and when the wind slowed to 50 MPH, emerged to resume patrol, as floodwaters allowed. The massive overtime in the aftermath of Ike wrecked my health for months. On the cooperation issue, I provided shotgun ammunition to a neighbor, and would have loaned him a shotgun or rifle if he had said "yes." Citizens fed us, as individuals and as organized groups, and we shared what we had with citizens who had lost their things or were otherwise unprepared.
    FWIW, I work for a quite large agency; several thousand officers.

    Someone tell this Mike Vanderboegh fella to come to South Texas next time we can arrange a good, devastating hurricane.

    It is all too easy to sit before a computer screen and avoid getting out in the world a bit.

    One more thing: Oddly enough, the only contact I have had with the oath keeper movement, outside the internet, was when a Middle Eastern woman, in traditional Islamic garb, including the head scarf, approached me at a Home Depot and presented me with one of the brochures. She did ask something about me keeping my oath, and I replied that I did take my oath seriously. I expected the flier to be some kind of appeal for fairer treatment of Muslims, until I read it and saw the oath keeper stuff. (The metropolitan area where I serve has enough Muslims to be a sizable city's population, themselves.)

    I don't want to fight a war of words, in an internet forum, but I do resent being painted with a broad brush, or being portrayed as being on the wrong side. (I referring the "everyone else is right" clause.) Wrong side of what?

  8. #23
    Member Array Holger's Avatar
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    I'll concede the "everyone is right" point, and I shouldn't have written that. Call it a pop-off. Perhaps I took your dismissal of citizen's concerns the wrong way.

    I'm not anti-cop, quite the contrary. I've been in the military for almost 20 years now counting my Academy time, and a pair of Danner boots (have some) and BDUs don't frighten or intimidate me. I know the overwhelming majority of LEOs are honorable and trustworthy, and what they wear doesn't alter their professional demeanor. However, there are a select few that simply feel empowered when garbed up in the tac gear, and it translates to their interactions with the public.

    I was born in TX and my mother is TX born and bred. If she knew I had a Texas lawman irked at me, she'd beat the he** out of me on the spot. Please accept my humble apology.

  9. #24
    Distinguished Member Array Rexster's Avatar
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    No apology necessary! I am just glad to see we are on the same page.

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