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From: John De Armond
Newsgroups: rec.outdoors.rv-travel
Subject: Re: SWAT again OFF TOPIC
Date: Wed, 27 Sep 2000 04:09:05 -0400

Guess Who? wrote:

>     Most victims of Swat Teams come from "Dope Raids" & "Domestic
> Violence" calls.  What do you think can be done to correct this overuse
> of Government force, that threatens our individual "Freedoms" so much?
>                                                            Don

You get rid of them, of course.  When one has a big hammer,
everything starts looking like nails.  When police management has a
SWAT team (and the city had funded it), there is pressure or at
least encouragement to use it at every opportunity.  Otherwise the
citizens might express through their elected representatives that
the team is wasted tax money.  So the SWATies get deployed on every
little instance of a drunk with a gun in the house.  that's the case
in this little podunk city I live in.  The city has spent hundreds
of thousands of dollars on their ninja boys.  They get deployed
every time some guy drinks too much and threatens to slap up his
wife.  Same thing with the damn bomb squad.  In the 7 years since I
moved back here, we've had two, count 'em, two incidents where the
bomb squad's presence could have been justified.  Both times
involving wannabe, sorta pipe bombs - pipes with powder but no hole
or fuse (maybe our educational system at work again?).  Both
probably placed in shopping center parking lots as pranks. Both
times, the squad from nearby Chattanooga came up and hauled the
pipes off.  These two incidents let the city justify spending almost
half a million dollars to start a bomb squad and equip them.  And
that's just the start.  Now, every paper bag left in the parking lot
of a mall will be a bomb and have the bomb squad called out.
They'll cordon off and evacuate half the town and ultimately blow up
someone's lunch or an empty beer bottle.  totally out of control.

The problem with SWAT is that the presence of the gestapo escalates
the matter to an armed standoff where shooting ends up happening as
often as not.  Whereas before SWAT, the local cops or sheriff would
usually patiently wait for the perp to sober up and give himself up
or be talked out or go to sleep, with SWAT, there is great pressure
to use offensive force so they storm/shoot/flashbang/kill earlier in
the process.  As much as we might hate some of the perps, we must
recall that it is NOT the job of the police to be judge, jury and
executioner all in one.  For the very few incidents where a
para-military type assault might be called for, a unit attached to
the National Guard and controlled by the Governor could lay in
wait.  The deployment would require that the local elected official
(mayor, county executive, sheriff) make a formal request to the
governor just like they must now do for conventional NG deployment.
Yes, this system is unwieldy and cumbersome.  Intentionally so.  A
cumbersome, inefficient government is a more harmless government.
By design.


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