Cops Ready for War With Homeland Security-Funded Military Weapons

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woodcanoe
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Cops Ready for War With Homeland Security-Funded Military Weapons

Story from Fargo, ND

......"A decade of billions in spending in the name of homeland security has armed local police departments with military-style equipment and a new commando mentality. But has it gone too far?".......

....."Some real-life episodes, however, are sparking a debate about whether all that gear also creates a more militarized mind-set for local police that exceeds their mission or risks public safety".......

[url=http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2011/12/20/local-cops-ready-for-wa... Guerena case, and others are prominently mentioned[/url]

I support law enforcement and realize it is a difficult job often. However I have been increasingly worried by what many see as the increasing "militarization" of civilian law enforcement. This article touches on some of that.

I know it is far worse in the cities and high crime areas but sense that along with this 'military style" weaponization and training in tactics come an increasing sense of "us" vs "them" or the cops against American citizens. It is specifically mentioned in the article the difference between the military and civilian law enforcement. The missions are quite different.

My long term fear is that all of this, and also the accompanying increase in arrogance, on the part of LE will lead to strained relations between cops and civilians. Law Enforcement needs the respect of the citizens in order to accomplish its mission. If citizens lose that respect, because of increasing incidents like Guerena etc, the mission will become much more difficult.

WC

Tom C
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Too many laws, too many

Too many laws, too many police.

When I see these cars sitting in speed traps at 1 am in the morning, trying to catch the passing motorist who misses the 25MPH sign at the edge of town, it occurs to me that we don't need half of what we have.

NancyEH
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I hope everyone remembers

I hope everyone remembers that Homeland Security was the brainchild of George W. Bush. Any complaints about how it has developed since should be laid at his feet.

Bob S
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Sorry Nancy, Bush II may have

Sorry Nancy, Bush II may have signed it into law, but it began in the Clinton administration. Bushed was pressured into signing it after 911.

ldwight
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NancyEH, Left-knee-Jerk

NancyEH,

Left-knee-Jerk response, "Blame Bush!"???

BC-SPM
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That's it, blame Bush.... How

That's it, blame Bush....

How about laying the blame at the feet of police chiefs and sheriffs that go overboard in buying all this stuff, just because they can. And don't forget the local town, city, and county governments that let them do it.

Bob S
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How about laying the blame at

How about laying the blame at the feet of police chiefs and sheriffs that go overboard in buying all this stuff,

They couldn't buy it without the money and encouragement from the Feds. ;-)

Jim Corr
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As I recall post 911 the

As I recall post 911 the general concensus among politicians was that the various law enforcement and intelligencie agencies weren't talking to one another therefore a new department would certainly fix things. How's that working out?

FLNext
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Here is another new toy being

Here is another new toy being introduced by police in various cities around the country:

Sniper Detectors Coming to America's Heartland

Gunshots ring out in the dead of night, and not a single person reports it. Yet police know exactly where the shots came from, even before they arrive on the scene.

Interesting gadget with scary implications.

thejohnchapman
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Why are the implications of a

Why are the implications of a "sniper detector" scary?

Stephen Carmichael
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Only a dumb sniper stays in

Only a dumb sniper stays in one place.

Even with all this big time equipment some bad guy can convert a scuba tank into an impressive cannon and rain fire artillery at their toys.

FLNext
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Why are the implications of a

Why are the implications of a "sniper detector" scary?

ShotSpotting could advance to incorporate surveillance video, so that as a shot is heard and pinpointed, video could document the shooter -- making it easier to identify a suspect and faster to make an arrest. Some police departments have been looking at using Avrio RMS cameras that react to gunfire by spinning toward its source.

If this system works as described then I see the potential for abuse. These are extremely capable audio sensors. Adding the video component raises privacy concerns for me. The technology here is quite remarkable and will only improve over time.

Sorry, I forgot to post the link:

http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2011/12/22/sniper-detectors-coming-to-ame...(Affiliate+-+Northeast+-+New+York+-+NY+-+O%252526O)

Stephen Carmichael
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What good is that devise if a

What good is that devise if a silencer is used? They better go back to the lab and work on detecting a bullet as it cuts the air and creates a wake.

The success of the device is practical in inner city blocks where gun violence is a common part of the day. The real problem this device is not addressing: The community will not rat on the shooter because they don't like to Police.

thejohnchapman
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I'm not sure I understand the

I'm not sure I understand the fourth amendment violation where a surveillance camera spins toward someone who, in a public place, or visible from a public place, fires a shot.

PS: "silencers" don't truly "silence" rifles. I have yet to hear of a silencer - equipped rifle being used by any badguy. A bit of light reading for those interested in "silencers".

http://www.silencerresearch.com/manufacturers_numbers.htm

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/UsefulNotes/Silencers

FLNext
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TJC: I'm not sure I

TJC:

I'm not sure I understand the fourth amendment violation where a surveillance camera spins toward someone who, in a public place, or visible from a public place, fires a shot.

Under the circumstances you describe I would agree that there is no privacy violation (though I am not a fan of surveillance cameras, generally). My concern is the potential use of the system when neither a gunshot nor probable cause exist. For example, to listen to a conversation between people walking along a sidewalk who look "suspicious." Maybe I need to don my tinfoil hat.

thejohnchapman
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There's no need to have fancy

There's no need to have fancy surveillance stuff to do THAT. A 70s era parabolic mike will do the trick.

Tom C
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These are extremely capable

These are extremely capable audio sensors.

If they were developed, they could. My understanding is that now they are programmed to the particular signature of a shot, and in almost no shooting incidents is a silencer involved. These are designed to get information on certain types of crime.

I agree with your point, though, that there is danger in turning us into a society where we are constantly monitored by the authorities. The potential for abuse is almost unlimited. Also, as we increase the police force, we have more people monitoring us even more closely. That is one of the great complaints about Communist societies, there were political eyes and ears everywhere.

You wouldn't want a child that was regimented and perfect, it would be un-natural. The same for a society.

There should be a little chaos and disorder. It's healthy.

Bruce Libby
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Fortunately or unfortunately

Fortunately or unfortunately the equipment is really not the issue. It is the menatlity behind its' use and the judgement of command in implementing its' use. I share the same concern about it and recognize there is a downside that it has to be used if you have it !
In Maine few departments can deploy this function quickly outside of larger departments which is probably a good thing the vast majority of incidents where used are not responding to active action in most cases situations following a initial event like shooting from a suspect etc.. Whether the responce causes that is open to debate,but if it is then the offender has committed a big mistake.

On the humorous side there was a career criminal from Portland who was the subject of a barricaded suspect incident in So. Portland!
After arrest and return to MCC subject well known to us related that it was a hoot seeing the hoiuse surrounded all night etc..!
After all the truth was I wasn't dangerous,"I only wanted to use up my drugs before surrending"!
I believe we are very fortunate that the use of these tactics in Maine are used very sparingly and judicailly.

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