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Thread: King County SWAT had a busy weekend

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    Campaign Veteran deepdiver's Avatar
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    Sounds like SWAT had things under control and acted reasonably in both situations.
    Bob Owens @ Bearing Arms (paraphrased): "These people aren't against violence; they're very much in favor of violence. They're against armed resistance."

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    Since when does an armed robbery call warrant an expensive and dangerous SWAT callout?

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    Regular Member FMCDH's Avatar
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    grishnav wrote:
    Since when does an armed robbery call warrant an expensive and dangerous SWAT callout?
    Because there was a clear and present danger that may have gotten out of control fast for a few patrol officers. I don't see any reason why LEOs should have to face any more danger then necessary when they know where the criminal is and that hes dangerous.

    You have to remember, its not the 911 operators dispatching SWAT from a citizen call, its the responding officers who are requesting SWAT assistance, and its always an approved "roll out" by a much higher up. If they think they needed SWAT, then they probably did.


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    FMCDH wrote:
    grishnav wrote:
    Since when does an armed robbery call warrant an expensive and dangerous SWAT callout?
    Because there was a clear and present danger that may have gotten out of control fast for a few patrol officers. I don't see any reason why LEOs should have to face any more danger then necessary when they know where the criminal is and that hes dangerous.

    You have to remember, its not the 911 operators dispatching SWAT from a citizen call, its the responding officers who are requesting SWAT assistance, and its always an approved "roll out" by a much higher up. If they think they needed SWAT, then they probably did.
    You're probably right, but at the same time, it's really hard not to see this as yet another example as further militarization of our police force. Especially when defended as "necessary for officer safety." Police actually don't have all that dangerous of a job. There's lots of professions where you die on the job more often (such as cab drivers), and might I mention that if you are injured on the job, not many (any?) that will take care of you for the rest of your life.

    But anyway, not to be divisive, just saying...

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    FMCDH wrote:
    grishnav wrote:
    Since when does an armed robbery call warrant an expensive and dangerous SWAT callout?
    Because there was a clear and present danger that may have gotten out of control fast for a few patrol officers. I don't see any reason why LEOs should have to face any more danger then necessary when they know where the criminal is and that hes dangerous.

    You have to remember, its not the 911 operators dispatching SWAT from a citizen call, its the responding officers who are requesting SWAT assistance, and its always an approved "roll out" by a much higher up. If they think they needed SWAT, then they probably did.
    When it is a known hazardous situation, such as 3 armed subjects in a house.

    Understand that while regular patrol officers do wear vests, they provide very limited protection and only from the smaller handgun caliber rounds. They don't do much for rifle roundsor shotgun slugs and they do nothing for headshots. The SWAT guys have more protective gear as well as ballistic shields, distacting devices such as flash-bangs, etc. and the training in their use.

    SWAT response is not only to improve the offcier safety issue, but (believe it or not) to reduce the likelyhood of suspects being injured as well.

    I can't speak to the call on Sunday, it was my one day off this week, but I was at work from start to finish for the one on Saturday and that guy had every opportunity to stay alive. You just can't go pointing scoped hunting rifles at a police officer or police helicopter (with three officers in it) after having already threated toshoot at aircraft and expectto not have something very bad happen.

    I don't know if he was killed instantly or not, butsince he had threated a 250lb fertilizer bomb in his house, they weren't about to rush in and check on him once he was down. The house had to be cleared first and there were some bags of stuff piled up to look like a fertilizer bomb so they were going to be safe instead of sorry.

    He made his choice, he alone is responsible for the outcome. Thankfully no one else was killed or injured as a result.

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    grishnav wrote:
    FMCDH wrote:
    grishnav wrote:
    Since when does an armed robbery call warrant an expensive and dangerous SWAT callout?
    Because there was a clear and present danger that may have gotten out of control fast for a few patrol officers. I don't see any reason why LEOs should have to face any more danger then necessary when they know where the criminal is and that hes dangerous.

    You have to remember, its not the 911 operators dispatching SWAT from a citizen call, its the responding officers who are requesting SWAT assistance, and its always an approved "roll out" by a much higher up. If they think they needed SWAT, then they probably did.
    You're probably right, but at the same time, it's really hard not to see this as yet another example as further militarization of our police force. Especially when defended as "necessary for officer safety." Police actually don't have all that dangerous of a job. There's lots of professions where you die on the job more often (such as cab drivers), and might I mention that if you are injured on the job, not many (any?) that will take care of you for the rest of your life.

    But anyway, not to be divisive, just saying...
    Having fewer people killed on the job doesn't mean it is without risks. I guarentee if cops just went "cowboy" barging in on barricaded subjects there would be a lot more line of duty deaths.

    No one is looking for suicide missions to capture bad-guys. While there may be more cabbies dying (which I actually doubt) there are also a lot more cab drivers to start with. Not to mention that cab drivers don't have responding to dangerous situations as part of their routinejob tasks.

    As to being taken care of for injury OTJ, see how many would be applying for the job without that protection. It only makes sense that we take care of those who put it on the line daily to protect the rest of us.

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    911Boss wrote:
    Having fewer people killed on the job doesn't mean it is without risks.
    But it does make "my job is more dangerous than yours" a pretty unconvincing argument if he's half as likely to get killed in the line as you are. And when "my job is sooo dangerous and stuff" is the reason you need "special privileges and immunities," you can't help but wonder what the real agenda is.
    While there may be more cabbies dying (which I actually doubt) there are also a lot more cab drivers to start with.
    Which is why you compare normalized data, such as percentage or per-hundred-thousand.

    This top 10's a bit old...

    Timber cutters... 118/100,000
    Fishers... 71/100,000
    Pilots... 70/100,000
    Structural metal workers... 58/100,000
    Route truckers (think WalMart trucks and the like)... 38/100,000
    Roofers... 37/100,000
    Electricians... 33/100,000
    Farmers... 28/100,000
    Construction worker... 28/100,000
    Other Truckers... 25/100,000

    ...but "Cop" doesn't even make it.


    Not to mention that cab drivers don't have responding to dangerous situations as part of their routinejob tasks.
    The cab drivers also don't have guns, body armor, backup, and swat teams as a part of responding to their routine job tasks. And botching a run doesn't mean killing someone. And if they do kill someone, they don't get to skate on murder charges:

    http://www.cato.org/raidmap/

    Note that there are more innocent people killed in wrong-address and similar errors than cops killed serving warrants to actual dangerous people. That means that the ass-backwards reality is that a cops job is actually more dangerous for you, as an innocent civilian, than it is for the cop! You're more likely to die in a hail of misdirected gunfire from a cop than a cop is to die of intentionally directed gunfire of a criminal. And they need to remove more of your protections to make themselves safer?

    Am you really telling me that doesn't make you go "Huh?"

    As to being taken care of for injury OTJ, see how many would be applying for the job without that protection.
    I dunno. You're the one that said there's more cab drivers than cops, so I'd say at least as many people as apply for cab driver jobs. Probably more, since you not only have the "I'll do anything no matter how scummy because I'm desperate for a job" crowd, but also the "I'm a bloodthirsty tyrant that get's off on controlling, hurting, and bullying people" crowd.

    It only makes sense that we take care of those who put it on the line daily to protect the rest of us.
    Maybe to you it does! No-knock warrants, searches without probably cause, indefinite detention and "papers pleas" attitudes probably also make sense to you.

    Not to me...

    Alright, I'll quit derailing threads now. Sorry OP. <3

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    grishnav wrote:
    A bunch of tripe...
    OK, so clearly you have an agenda and hate cops. Instead of addressing all of your straw man arguments, lets get back on topic.

    I don't know where your numbers come from but mine are from the Bureau of Labor Statistics for 2007 (which is the most recent they had).

    You originally said more cabbies died in line of duty than cops - you're wrong. For 2007, 34 cabbies were killed by homicide, 15 more in "transportation incidents", and 1 unreported cause for a total of 50.

    There were 54 cops killed by homicide 67 by "transportation incidents", 14 unreported cause, for a total of 135. One and a half time more killed by homicide, and almost 3 times the number total.

    As to your other numbers, it is apples and oranges. I am willing to bet (assuming your numbers are accurate) that few if any of those deaths are by homicide, not really a fair comparison to equate falling off a roof or an aircraft mechanical failurewith being intentionally killed while trying to protect society at large.

    You also seem to have math issues as you suggest that:



    Yes, it does make me go "Huh?".It makes me go "Huh, what the efyouseekay is grishnav smoking?..." Since (according to your own source), only 43 "innocents" have been killed by police for ALL years (and they go back to 1985).

    As I pointed out above there were 54 cops killed by homicide in 2007 alone. And that is even before adjusting to an "x per y" ratio.


    I think this is one of those cases where you should just be quiet and lets us wonder about your foolishness instead of posting and putting it on display for all to see...



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    This top 10's a bit old...

    Timber cutters... 118/100,000
    Fishers... 71/100,000
    Pilots... 70/100,000
    Structural metal workers... 58/100,000
    Route truckers (think WalMart trucks and the like)... 38/100,000
    Roofers... 37/100,000
    Electricians... 33/100,000
    Farmers... 28/100,000
    Construction worker... 28/100,000
    Other Truckers... 25/100,000
    Ooh, I see my ADD coming through here.

    Before I was a cop, I held a number of jobs, including some on this list.

    Fisherman- I cut my hand badly once while hauling in crab pots, and when I was longlining, I watched a guy put a hook right through his hand.

    Timber cutters- Did this as part of my job as a forest fire fighter. Felled trees, cut breaks, cleared brush and other fuels. The only injuries I ever had were a REALLY bad case of sunburn and light sunstroke once.

    Construction/Roofing- 2 summers worth of work, from framing to drywalling to roofing (residential stuff). Never hurt, but since I was young and foolhardy I jumped of more than one roof. Also did asbestos abatement for one summer.

    Deputy Sheriff- Spent 4 years as a deputy in rural California. Ran into a burning house once, as fire was more than 20 minutes away, and people were telling me there might be a child inside. Nope, but rescued the dog. Responded to multiple incidents where people were armed and angry. Went to a bank robbery where the robbers had seen too many TV shows and shot out the cameras

    Police officer- Spent one year on a contract as a police officer in Alaska. Once responded to a DV call where the neighbors reported possible shots fired. Upon arrival, the suspect stepped out from an alley and shot out my windshield with a 12ga. Had a cabdriver robbed and murdered directly in front of my house, and stupid me went running after the suspects armed with only my flashlight.

    Ask me which occupations I consider more 'dangerous'. I can't think of another one wherepeople intentionally run into burning houses and towards gunshots, while everyone else is running away. It's not heroic, it's a calling.






    "There is NO timer in a gunfight, but there IS another guy with a gun, and he's probably in a hurry!"- from someone who bothered to go and check

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    grishnav wrote:
    Since when does an armed robbery call warrant an expensive and dangerous SWAT callout?
    They have to justify the cost of the teams, so they call them out whenever they can. Besides the SWAT guys love it. IF the teams are never used you can't justify the expense. So a cat up a tree or a civil revolution gets the call. Lets the tax-payer know their dollars are well spent.
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    *The information contained above is not meant to be legal advice, but is solely intended as a starting point for further research. These are my opinions, if you have further questions it is advisable to seek out an attorney that is well versed in firearm law.

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    911Boss wrote:
    grishnav wrote:
    A bunch of tripe...
    OK, so clearly you have an agenda and hate cops.
    It's not that I hate cops, it's that I love freedom, and cops hate* freedom, passionately.

    *Cops do love their own freedom


    I don't know where your numbers come
    BLS circa '02. Same source as you, just older.

    from but mine are from the Bureau of Labor Statistics for 2007 (which is the most recent they had).

    You originally said more cabbies died in line of duty than cops - you're wrong.
    You may be correct this time. The numbers jumble up some every year, and it's even possible I'm thinking of a statistic I read for a city or region rather than the US as a whole. Unfortunately, I'm having trouble finding my source on this specific point.

    None the less being a cop is still extremely safe compared to many other professions:


    That's right, folks. By a tiny fraction, you're more likely to be killed as a garbage man than a police officer. If you're a garbage man today, consider becoming a cop to better your life expectancy.

    As to your other numbers, it is apples and oranges. I am willing to bet (assuming your numbers are accurate) that few if any of those deaths are by homicide, not really a fair comparison to equate falling off a roof or an aircraft mechanical failurewith being intentionally killed while trying to protect society at large.
    And why not? Is it somehow less dangerous to die by falling off a tall building or getting chewed up in a grinder than it is to die by gunshot? Are you somehow less dead because you splatter on the ground after a 50 foot fall than dieing of an infection from a gunshot to the shoulder? Is it somehow more noble to die while stealing value from others at gunpoint under the guise protecting them than it is to die while creating value for others by working on airplanes or building buildings?

    Or is it just hero worship. A cop's death is more important to 911boss simply by virtue of the fact that it was a cop that died.

    That's the kind of thinking that blinds you to reality. And being blind to reality leads to bad choices and stupid posts on the interwebs.

    You also seem to have math issues as you suggest that:


    Yes, it does make me go "Huh?".It makes me go "Huh, what the efyouseekay is grishnav smoking?..." Since (according to your own source), only 43 "innocents" have been killed by police for ALL years (and they go back to 1985).

    This particular map, for those not quite paying 100% attention such as 911 boss here, deals with SWAT raids; specifically, botched ones.

    For this subset of data, 25 cops were killed or injured, but 43 innocent people were killed. That means in swat raids (or, at least, botched ones, of which there are hundreds), almost two people died for every single cop killed or injured. Unstated is how many innocent people were injured, how many family pets were killed, how much reputation destruction occurred (destroying careers and the like), and how much money was lost to property damage in the raids.

    As I pointed out above there were 54 cops killed by homicide in 2007 alone. And that is even before adjusting to an "x per y" ratio.
    Now you're comparing apples to oranges. You can't compare patrol cops killed on patrol to innocents killed in SWAT raids. You need to compare it to innocents killed by patrol cops to see who's more in danger. Unfortunately, such statistics aren't yet available to my knowledge. You can see how many people die per cop killed (something like 3-4 IIRC), but no way to know whether those shootings were justified or not.

    So yeah, you can call me crazy, accuse me of smoking crack, or whatever. But the numbers just don't bear out justification for the cost, both of human life and dollars.

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    It's not that I hate cops, it's that I love freedom, and cops hate* freedom, passionately.
    You have no idea how true this is....I have a few great examples from personal experience....

    I can't wait to strap on my jackboots in the morning, get out on the street and violate someone's civil rights. **** those "citizens" for making me work. Can you imagine the nerve of the woman I arrested in Alaska? She was high as a kite on meth, and sewed up her baby's ******* to stop it from ******** all the time. I mean, c'mon- I actually had to put my doughnuts down and HANDCUFF her. I suppose I could've given her a stern lecture, but why bother when I can cuff and stuff? She actually went to jail- so much for her "rights", HAHAHAHA!

    It's so much fun to break up a good fight, too. Like the time a husband and wife were arguing, and he beat her half to death with an empty Jack Daniel's bottle. He broke both her cheekbones, nose, upper and lower jaws, and knocked out most of her teeth. Dang, her face looked like a black hole! I probably should have let them sort it out instead of interfering with a "family matter", as he kept putting it, but I got to take his liberty away as well! Prison time, ************! The ultimate civil-rights violation! I guess I was being crooked, barging in their house and putting him in cuffs, right? I mean, after all, he was the breadwinner. What's a little lover's quarrel if you're really in love?




    "There is NO timer in a gunfight, but there IS another guy with a gun, and he's probably in a hurry!"- from someone who bothered to go and check

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    grishnav wrote:
    It's not that I hate cops, it's that I love freedom, and cops hate* freedom, passionately.

    *Cops do love their own freedom
    So you paint the entire profession by the actions of that very small fraction of a percentage who exceed their authority or disgrace the badge. Yes, that is hate.

    It is every much hatred as racism and believing all of a given skin color are equally culpable based on the actions of a few of that color. Simple, biased, irrational hatred. Any attempt to deny this is simply a futile attempt to rationalize or justify the hatred.

    May I ask your profession? Has anyone in that profession ever made a mistake or brought disgrace to the position? If so, then by your "logic", you are every bit as responsible and culpable for their actions as they are.


    grishnav wrote:
    And why not? Is it somehow less dangerous to die by falling off a tall building or getting chewed up in a grinder than it is to die by gunshot? Are you somehow less dead because you splatter on the ground after a 50 foot fall than dieing of an infection from a gunshot to the shoulder? Is it somehow more noble to die while stealing value from others at gunpoint under the guise protecting them than it is to die while creating value for others by working on airplanes or building buildings?

    Or is it just hero worship. A cop's death is more important to 911boss simply by virtue of the fact that it was a cop that died.

    That's the kind of thinking that blinds you to reality. And being blind to reality leads to bad choices and stupid posts on the interwebs.
    Call it hero worship if you wish. I prefer to see it as respect. As cold as it may seem, yes some lives ARE more important than others. It might not be "fair", but it is also not a distinction made with malice, disregard, or hate. It is simply a cold, hard reality.

    "Reality" is what society says it is. You may certainly disagree, but your disagreement does not change reality. Those who are not in reality are in fantasy, and it is those folks (folks like you) who make most of the stupid posts on the interweb.

    When is the last time you saw media coverage of a Garbageman's funeral? A cab drivers? When did schools and businesses in a community shut down after their mailman died?

    Yes, every death is a tragedy on some level. Even the death of a criminal, but most assuredly, all deaths are not equal just as all lives are not equal.

    Compare the respect shown by not only those in public service, but by the public when there is a firefighter or police officer killed in the line of duty. That is society affirming the value placed on those who give that service, that is society paying honor and respect to someone who accepted a duty few would, and even fewer are qualified to. That is reality.

    Try as you might, you can't make it go away, you can't discount it, your crazy ideals and Utopian desires won't change it. Yes some lives ARE more important than others, welcome to the REAL world.


    grishnav wrote:
    This particular map, for those not quite paying 100% attention such as 911 boss here, deals with SWAT raids; specifically, botched ones.

    For this subset of data, 25 cops were killed or injured, but 43 innocent people were killed. That means in swat raids (or, at least, botched ones, of which there are hundreds), almost two people died for every single cop killed or injured. Unstated is how many innocent people were injured, how many family pets were killed, how much reputation destruction occurred (destroying careers and the like), and how much money was lost to property damage in the raids.
    Oh, so you can play it fast and loose with the numbers, and use a "subset of data" to make the wide ranging assertion that:

    grishnav wrote:
    You're more likely to die in a hail of misdirected gunfire from a cop than a cop is to die of intentionally directed gunfire of a criminal. And they need to remove more of your protections to make themselves safer?
    But you expect others to stay focused and within the scope of the information cited. Tell you what, you made the initial assertion, find a legitimate source to support it.

    Here is some of your "math". More citizens are killed than police, and non-police people kill more people than police do. So everyone would be safer if everyone was a police officer. It makes as much sense (actually more) than your twisted and ill conceived "logic"



    grishnav wrote:
    You can't compare patrol cops killed on patrol to innocents killed in SWAT raids. You need to compare it to innocents killed by patrol cops to see who's more in danger.

    Unfortunately, such statistics aren't yet available to my knowledge.
    Ok, so lets make these comparisons:

    -Number of (non-criminal) citizens killed by cops to number of (non-criminal) citizens killed by (non-police) criminals.

    -Number of criminal citizens killed by cops to number of (non-criminal) citizens killed by cops

    I'll bet any amount that any stats you find will weigh heavily on the side of cops posing less risk to citizens as criminals do, and cops posing a higher risk to criminals then cops do to citizens.

    That my poor web-tard means that society benefits by having cops around even with the occasional error, mistake, or even rouge criminal act by police officers. So evidently police do "create value" much more than you are willing to give them credit for.

    If you were to wipe the blind hatred of the profession from your eyes, instead of making assertions that they are, as a group, focused on "stealing value from others at gunpoint under the guise protecting them" You just might manage to escape your fantasy and join the rest of the world in reality.

    Of course that would require you recognizing and acknowledging you are wrong and I imagine that is every bit as difficult for you as just honestly admitting that you hate cops.


    grishnav wrote:
    You can see how many people die per cop killed (something like 3-4 IIRC), but no way to know whether those shootings were justified or not
    "No way to know whether those shootings were justified or not" :shock: Are you for real!?!

    Every police shooting results in an investigation, whether internal, citizen review board, conducted by another agency, prosecutorial review, coroners inquest, etc. Yes, we DO know what ones are and are not justified.

    I have no doubt you disagree and honestly believe your delusion, but my "believing" the sky is green doesn't make it so. It would certainly seem to require a lot of assumptions and innumerable conspiracies for anyone to believe a fraction of what you present as "reality".


    grishnav wrote:
    So yeah, you can call me crazy, accuse me of smoking crack, or whatever. But the numbers just don't bear out justification for the cost, both of human life and dollars.
    Again, I have no doubt you truly believe this. Thankfully you are not in charge (apparently) of anything of significance in society. That, coupled with no ability to present a rational or factual argument to convince others of your fantasies, means that reality, as the rest of us know it, is safe.

    Heck, I wouldn't be the least bit surprised that the root of your hate is from being DQ'd on the psych eval portion of a Police hiring process....

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    Ah, the tried and true method of rebuttal by the cheerleaders of police everywhere. "You're just jealous cause you couldn't hack it as a cop." That single line invalidated every other thing you stated in your whole post.

    I agree with grishnav, I don't hate cops (have a coworker and friend who was a cop in AZ, great guy.....have met many others who were great people.....), I have issues with cops who overstep their bounds and think it's OK if they violate a hundred people's rights if it means they get a confession or stick a charge to a criminal.

    "Better a hundred guilty men walk free than one innocent man be imprisoned."

    All I, and those who feel as I do, ask is that police remember their place, and the state-sponsored increase in police powers stop before we find ourselves living in even more of a police state than we have now. The facts speak for themselves.

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    I didn't imply jealousy. I hypothesized a reason for the hatred.

    If you can recognize that it is only a small number of police that cross the line, and that society as a whole benefits from the concept of police, than no - you do not "agree" with grishnav.

    Call me a cheerleader if you wish, but I also have a problem with those who overstep their bounds. That doesn't mean I am blind to the infrequency of it or go on tirades condemning the entire profession.

    Heck, I work for the Sheriff's Office and I have even been known to make complaints on some our officers to their bosses for a variety of things I see while off shift. My department has had it's share of disappointments and not once have I tried to defend their actions.

    You say you have met many cops that were "great people" I presume that to mean they weren't out violating the rights of 100's of people. So how many "good cops" have you met? More than the "bad cops" you have come across?

    As to the "State sponsored" increases in police powers, remember it is the POLITICIANS that are the one responsible for those increases. The police are powerless to self-define their authority. It is the legislature and courts that do that. Yes, some exceed their authority on occasion and I suggest anyone who is a witness to that or victim of it pursue complaints about such instances. Like everywhere else some sub-standard folks get through and may need to be weeded out.

    Yes, the FACTS do speak for themselves. One must actually read, understand, and accept those facts however. While grishnav quoted a few facts, he clearly doesn't understand all the facts (not even the ones he cited), does not accept them, and rails on with nonsensical and convoluted banter.

    I am all for righteous indignation when the occasion warrants it, but first it needs to be truly righteous, and secondly it should be directed at the appropriate target. If you are concerned with the powers given police, take it up with the folks who gave it to them.



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    Venator wrote:
    grishnav wrote:
    Since when does an armed robbery call warrant an expensive and dangerous SWAT callout?
    They have to justify the cost of the teams, so they call them out whenever they can. Besides the SWAT guys love it. IF the teams are never used you can't justify the expense. So a cat up a tree or a civil revolution gets the call. Lets the tax-payer know their dollars are well spent.
    An armed robbery calls gets SWAT when the three armed suspects who pistol whip the victim decide to hole up in an adjacent apartment complex. They aren't going to take the report, they are going to try and and apprehend the bad guys and keep other people from getting hurt.

    I guess you are man enough to just want to go on in that apartment with a Glock 22, a badge, and a vest. Seem like a reasonable advantage to you? If you were holed up in your house, armed, and REALLY REALLY didn't want to leave, how many cops do you think it would take to get you out? How many do you think you could take out in the process?

    Anyone with any understanding of such a situation realizes that one person in such a situation has the advantage over multiple people trying to get him out. What is needed to overcome that advantage is numbers, skills, and tools. That is what SWAT brings to the party.

    Sure, we could probably pull enough guys off patrol to come, maybe even buy 400-500 sets of the necessary gear so anyone on duty has it available. (instead of just 30-50 sets). But then who do we call to handle all the OTHER things going on at the same time?
    Folks are still having their neighbor disputes, still getting their cars stolen, still in need of a referee for their Saturday Night Family Fight. These calls don't happen in a vacuum, the world keeps on spinning.

    So does it matter that we call 10-12 guys to handle the big show and free up the patrol guys back to handle the other calls or call 10-12 guys to handle the other calls while the ones already on duty handle the big show? Seems a wash to me, but what do I know.

    Actually, they don't have to justify the cost of the team. It is one of those things that are sorta required, cost of doing business like handguns and pretty lights. Public pretty much expects them and generally get more concerned if there isn't one.

    Maybe you haven't heard, but pretty much all the big departments have them, even some well-to-do small ones. Other small departments band together and have a "regional" team to share the costs. Some departments have paid millions in liability claims for not having them or having ones with substandard training. Of course some have paid millions in liability claims even when they were properly trained and equipped, but things went bad. That is the nature of the beast so to speak.

    This isn't chess, or golf, or football. It isn't a science, it is kind of like "practicing" medicine. Sure, there is the occasional malpractice, and sometimes even when everything is done right you just don't get the outcome you were hoping for, but by and large it usually works as planned. Sometimes things get bad and don't go as planned, that's life.

    The specialized training and equipment make a dedicated assignment necessary, so while the SWAT guys don't handle regular patrol assignments, they do do others duties in addition to the team. It isn't the ONLY thing they do. Yes, much of their time is spent in training, but that is far cheaper than the liability of not training. Think of it more as an insurance policy. You hate paying for it and you hope you never need it, but by gosh when you do need it, it is a damn good thing to have around.

    I can't speak for other departments but I am pretty well versed on the call-out criteria for the King Co Sheriff since I am frequently the one that happens to call them. Basic criteria are for instances with a known dangerous or armed subject pinned down in a confined area, barricaded suspect situation, hostage situations, high-risk warrants, and similar type calls. Don't recall ever sending them to cats in trees or barking dogs in the past 17 years.

    As for civil revolution, SWAT actually doesn't respond to those. That is something handled by one or more of the precinct DRTs (Demonstration Response Team - if I remember the acronym correctly). It is actually comprised of "regular" patrol officers who have riot gear and some extra training in crowd control. Usually what such disturbances need is simple manpower more than any specialized equipment, weapons, or tactics. Show a presence, funnel folks where they need to go, block them from where they can't etc. And before anyone whines about the 2 or 3 "victims" of our officers during WTO, understand a couple things. Out department alone had about 150 or so cops involved in WTO. In addition to us there was SPD, WSP, and others. I recall a grand total of TWO "questionable incidents" involving KCSO officers, and they had contact with thousands of protesters/spectators/rioters/looters. We are talking a very, very small fraction of contacts that caused concern. Additionally, those two people had the option of doing what the jack-booted thug asked before getting pepper-sprayed or knocked down. They choose not to.

    So where do we go from here? Clearly you think they are unnecessary and just a fashionable gadget. What is your solution? Do you have one? Should the entire somewhat-standardized method of 21st century policing just stop while someone thinks of something better?

    If you ever happen to be held hostage in your house, or you are carjacked and the bad guy takes of with not only your car but also your infant in the car seat, or we ask you to evacuate because your crazy neighbor is threatening to make a bigger crater than Oklahoma City, feel free to refuse their skills and just wait it out. I'll be pulling for you...

    After all, you do pay all of our salaries so that means you should be making the call on how the dollars are spent instead of all those elected officials and professionals with college degrees, experience, and training along with local, state, and federal mandates, legal liability, etc.

    Heck maybe we should get a 1-800 number for citizens to call with their suggestions on how we should handle stuff. Maybe launch online web-polls at the time we enter the call for dispatch. This is a democracy after all and doesn't that mean we get to vote on everything????

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