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Militarization of Police.

brihard

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Remius said:
So when the untrained eye looks at a picture like the one from this article.

https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/16/us/protest-wrap-tuesday/index.html

It’s hard for someone not to think that the police are not being militarized in the US.

Indeed, whereas the trained eye recognizes that it's a tactical team responding shortly after a shooting, and having to deal with a number of armed individuals and an unruly crowd that has already been violent.

The 'untrained eye' is causing a lot of the problems in the US right now...
 

Jarnhamar

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Remius said:
So when the untrained eye looks at a picture like the one from this article.

https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/16/us/protest-wrap-tuesday/index.html

It’s hard for someone not to think that the police are not being militarized in the US.

Only thing they're missing is bloused boots.

Good example though.

Does militarization of the police encompass more than appearance?

I wonder if gear like that actually gives the police the impression (themselves) that the'ye combat forces or they don't notice it.
 

brihard

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Jarnhamar said:
Only thing they're missing is bloused boots.

Good example though.

Does militarization of the police encompass more than appearance?

I wonder if gear like that actually gives the police the impression (themselves) that the'ye combat forces or they don't notice it.

My experience around our tactical guys, at least, suggests that they don't at all view themselves with any sort of 'combat soldier' mindset. They are prepared to enter into the ugliest of policing situations, to dominate the threat and win whatever fight comes up. I've never been struck by anything other than maturity and professionalism from them. Contexts I've worked with them in include active shooter training, a few high risk warrant executions, and when they've been on standby in support of public order operations or major public events. I've also worked with a number who were either part time tactical members on top of their normal duties on the road or in investigative units, or who were previously in that role and now doing something else.

So yeah, I don't think the kit has fundamentally shaped how they see themselves. They're appropriately equipped for the dangers they face.
 

mariomike

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Brihard said:
My experience around our tactical guys, at least, suggests that they don't at all view themselves with any sort of 'combat soldier' mindset.

All I needed to know about our ETF paramedics ( our tactical guys ) is they had to wear 77 pounds of extra weight that I didn't.
 

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lenaitch

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mariomike said:
Pretty hard to miss a marked car. Whether parked conspicuously at Walk / Don't Walk, or doing a slow patrol.

It can be more difficult for busy departments with high call volumes to clear calls. Officers on foot patrol may not necessarily be available for 9-1-1 calls requiring a quick response time. Also, a car can carry equipment that a foot patrol cannot.

Not to say foot patrols are of not use. They are. But, they have limitations. 

Maybe a good compromise would be to mandate the officers get out of their cars for a half hour each day for foot patrol. That way, they can run back to the car if they get a call.

And that should be a viable option.  A few blocks either side of a parked cruiser, or through a park, should not be all that limiting with today's communications.  I suppose it's 'dismounted patrol' in army-speak.  I did a brief stint at TPS 14 Division (before I came to my senses  :eek:) and there were regular 'post' assignments, but the comms of the day were limited and it put an extra burden on the vehicular patrols.  Although I was rural and started in a kindler, gentler time, we would get out and wander a town, eat and take coffee in restaurants, maybe pick up something at the grocery store on the way home, drop in the arena; all in the days before portable radios.  These informal 'exposures' can be just as or more effective than formal programs.  One of the things that drives me nuts is to see a marked cruiser in the drive-thru at Tim's.

Two of the most effective public contact tools are horses and motorcycles.  Show up on one and people appear.  Both limited in their overall usefulness and quite expensive; however.
 

Jarnhamar

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Brihard said:
My experience around our tactical guys, at least, suggests that they don't at all view themselves with any sort of 'combat soldier' mindset. They are prepared to enter into the ugliest of policing situations, to dominate the threat and win whatever fight comes up. I've never been struck by anything other than maturity and professionalism from them. Contexts I've worked with them in include active shooter training, a few high risk warrant executions, and when they've been on standby in support of public order operations or major public events. I've also worked with a number who were either part time tactical members on top of their normal duties on the road or in investigative units, or who were previously in that role and now doing something else.

So yeah, I don't think the kit has fundamentally shaped how they see themselves. They're appropriately equipped for the dangers they face.

Good points. I haven't worked with tactical teams very much (just some shooting stuff, enemy force scenarios, and E&E training) they seemed just like you described, really professional. Considering what they do  I personally don't think there is anything wrong with their kit and equipment.

In Canada there seems to be a pretty clear division between patrol police (not sure the proper term) and tactical teams. Up here someone sees an armored vehicle and starts screaming about militarization. I think in the US the distinction between the two is more muddled.
 

mariomike

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lenaitch said:
I did a brief stint at TPS 14 Division (before I came to my senses  :eek:)

We used to go there on calls when it was on Harrison St., before it moved to the new place.

I was stationed in 14 Division my first 8 years on the job.

A small, but busy, Division. Do you remember Vanaully Walk, Kensington, 999, Chinatown, Little Italy, The Waterfront, the Island ferry, Parkdale? All those and many more interesting places with interesting people.  :)

Foot patrols dropping in to our stations was routine, and we welcomed them.

674 Markham St. in the Annex area of 14 Division was one of the places I was remembering, among others. ( After it switched from a Metro Police station to a Metro Ambulance station in 1975.  )

I have a lot of pleasant memories of foot patrols in our stations, and on jobs. Happier days than now. Our police were well respected.

We never imagined anything like this. I don't know what the Hell happened.






 

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OldSolduer

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mariomike said:
We never imagined anything like this. I don't know what the Hell happened.

Just have a look at the portrayal of police in some movies and TV shows.

Chief Wiggums
 

Underway

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The tactical teams don't seem to be the problem.  The tactical teams are highly trained, and called in generally knowing what the situation is, and that it requires the strongest of responses.  They also have all the tools and training to deal with those situations.  It's the street cops that have all the issues. The tactical teams are the ones on top of the building looking for the people in the riot/protest with weapons, the riot cops are the ones pushing over 70-year-olds and pepper-spraying.
 

Furniture

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Hamish Seggie said:
Just have a look at the portrayal of police in some movies and TV shows.

Chief Wiggums

Made worse by the fact most people never actually meet police officers, so their only "exposure" is through TV and movies.

In entertainment police are either inept, or corrupt/dirty. It makes for great entertainment, but does the perception of police no favours.

How many of us in the CAF have had people with no exposure to the military make dumb assumptions about us, and our character based on TV and movies? Now imagine, rather than just being a CAF member in a uniform at Tims, you're the dude with a badge handing them a speeding ticket for driving 70 in a 50. Those people aren't likely to change their perception of you, and your profession in a positive way.
 

OldSolduer

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Furniture said:
Made worse by the fact most people never actually meet police officers, so their only "exposure" is through TV and movies.

In entertainment police are either inept, or corrupt/dirty. It makes for great entertainment, but does the perception of police no favours.

How many of us in the CAF have had people with no exposure to the military make dumb assumptions about us, and our character based on TV and movies? Now imagine, rather than just being a CAF member in a uniform at Tims, you're the dude with a badge handing them a speeding ticket for driving 70 in a 50. Those people aren't likely to change their perception of you, and your profession in a positive way.

Ever get asked "how many people have you killed?" I've had that asked a number of times.
 

Furniture

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Hamish Seggie said:
Ever get asked "how many people have you killed?" I've had that asked a number of times.

Only once, but I'm sure it's been assumed a few times.
 

lenaitch

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mariomike said:
We used to go there on calls when it was on Harrison St., before it moved to the new place.

I was stationed in 14 Division my first 8 years on the job.

A small, but busy, Division. Do you remember Vanaully Walk, Kensington, 999, Chinatown, Little Italy, The Waterfront, the Island ferry, Parkdale? All those and many more interesting places with interesting people.  :)

Foot patrols dropping in to our stations was routine, and we welcomed them.

674 Markham St. in the Annex area of 14 Division was one of the places I was remembering, among others. ( After it switched from a Metro Police station to a Metro Ambulance station in 1975.  )

I have a lot of pleasant memories of foot patrols in our stations, and on jobs. Happier days than now. Our police were well respected.

We never imagined anything like this. I don't know what the Hell happened.

It was a college summer placement for parking enforcement (green hornet) but we paraded with the platoons.  I must have walked that entire division many times over.  For a kid from suburbia, places like Kensington, Little Italy and Little Poland were little enclaves unto themselves.  The one memory that sticks with me is the intoxication smell from the Cadbury plant on Gladstone on a hot summer night.  I don't remember many of the people; gruff, no nonsense but fairly decent NCOs.  The only Cst. I remember was a guy name Jimmy Robb, a mountain of Scot or Englishman who liked carrying prisoners over his shoulder.  I later worked downtown for Eatons in loss prevention/fraud and got to know the legendary detective office at 52 Division.

Very little street drugs or guns; organized crime gangs were the 'traditional' sort that kept to their 'specialties'.  That's what changed.
 

Ironman118

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Underway said:
the riot cops are the ones pushing over 70-year-olds and pepper-spraying.

The riot police stopping a 70 year old man from interfering with their duties is the same as them stopping a 20 something year old man doing the same thing. The difference is the 70 year old man hit his head on the ground, so that's newsworthy. Imagine walking towards a riot squad, whose main purpose is to maintain public order, trying to stop them from passing you, and thinking that's going to end well.

Here's an idea: Don't get in the way of the police doing their jobs and you won't have any issues.

I guess age doesn't necessarily correlate to wisdom.
 

mariomike

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lenaitch said:
I must have walked that entire division many times over.  For a kid from suburbia, places like Kensington, Little Italy and Little Poland were little enclaves unto themselves. 

I grew up in a neighbourhood where nothing ever happened. At least nothing that kids like us knew about.

But, there was this one time - I must have been nine or ten years old - something did happen. Biggest crowd I had ever seen, up to that point. I couldn't see. I asked what was going on, but no one seemed to know. A big mystery. But, there were these guys in blue.

For a kid of my age, other than some had guns, and some didn't, it was pretty hard to differentiate between the police and the emergency services. ( As you can see from the pic. )

They were the only ones who really knew what was going on.

Which is why, when they show these modern telephone videos, I have to wonder how people who were not involved, really know what is going on?

lenaitch said:
Very little street drugs or guns; organized crime gangs were the 'traditional' sort that kept to their 'specialties'.  That's what changed.

It was fun. But, looks like we knew when it was time move on!  :)

 

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daftandbarmy

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Ironman118 said:
The riot police stopping a 70 year old man from interfering with their duties is the same as them stopping a 20 something year old man doing the same thing. The difference is the 70 year old man hit his head on the ground, so that's newsworthy. Imagine walking towards a riot squad, whose main purpose is to maintain public order, trying to stop them from passing you, and thinking that's going to end well.

Here's an idea: Don't get in the way of the police doing their jobs and you won't have any issues.

I guess age doesn't necessarily correlate to wisdom.

I am sure that the Judge will see it differently...
 

mariomike

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daftandbarmy said:
I am sure that the Judge will see it differently...

And the Buffalo taxpayers when it comes time to pay the lawsuit...

 

daftandbarmy

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Hamish Seggie said:
Ever get asked "how many people have you killed?" I've had that asked a number of times.

The right answer?

Fixing stupid civvy with steely glaze: 'Not enough, apparently.' :)
 

Ironman118

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daftandbarmy said:
I am sure that the Judge will see it differently...

That sets a difficult precedent. You'll have more than that PS's riot squad quitting their duties, it'll be country wide. The unit responsible for maintaining public order can't maintain public order, or they'll get fired.  ::)
 
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