Outrageous Use of SWAT

…from 1973.

Admittedly, that was LAPD, which was SWAT-crazy back then anyway (LAPD invented it, after all). But it sure feels like that ridiculous attitude has spread like a virus to every police department in the country.

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1 Response to Outrageous Use of SWAT

  1. Rivrdog says:

    It has spread. Back in that year, when I broke in as a rookie Enforcement Deputy Sheriff, when we wanted to bring in a dangerous felon, two detectives from Warrants and Extraditions would go to serve the warrant, and maybe call in the district patrol officer just in case the guy made it to a car.

    One detective would be armed with a shotgun (because shotguns can be safed quickly), the other with his .357 revolver.

    If a stand-off developed, the Patrol Sergeant for the precinct would decide whether the precinct men could handle it, or whether the Emergency Squad needed to be called out. The E-Squad (which I was on for a few years) was good at vertical work with ropes (yes, we practiced one-hand Aussie-style rapelling and coming through windows), and riflery, with the Remington 760 pump gun in 30-06, and iron sights.

    There were no semi-auto rifles, there were a couple of Tommy guns, and all the work was done at contact distance. When you had to go in, it was considered mortal combat, so you went in, period. None of the flash-bangs or tasers or anything like that. You went in and your superior skills won the day for you, none of this “first objective is to go home to Mama” crap. In a 260-Deputy department, the E-Squad might get called out twice a year. BTW, we wore the normal patrol uniform of dress shirt and pants on the E-Squad. We had coveralls for training. No fatigues, no black-out insignia, no baclavas, helmets only for training (or riot duty), no face paint.

    When street Patrol Deputies got out of their dress uniforms and into military suits, I know it was time to retire, and I did. I never wore one of those uniforms, but transferred to Courthouse duty where I was still required to wear the dress uniform, now, still the only place it’s found.

    As I see it, we’re no better than any third-world, banana republic with the police force just a division of the Army. Something important went away from our Nation when the police militarized.

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