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Comments about ‘Utah police agencies address 'militarization' questions’

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Published: Friday, Aug. 15 2014 6:05 p.m. MDT

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Meckofahess
Salt Lake City, UT

It appears that our local law enforcement leaders are suggesting they know how they would handle a difficult situation in a hypothetical estimate. I wonder how they would deal with dozens of protestors coming out at night and burning buildings, looting local businesses and throwing Molotov cocktails? I find it interesting how these protesters justify theft and destruction of property? Isn't that sort of pre-judging the outcome of an investigation and subverting the legal system?

Howard Beal
Provo, UT

Yes Robocop sort of predicted all of this but so did the simple but well done police drama Hill Street Blues when Howard Hunter's character, played by James B. Sikking, ascertained what was called an urban tank. Of course, the precinct chief Frank Furillo (Daniel J. Travanti) thought it was way over the top but now it appears these vehicles are necessary police equipment now.

But everyone is sort of late to this issue. Bill Maher on his HBO show did a whole segment on this. It seems again that the lame main street media is late again to the party.

My2Cents
Taylorsville, UT

Militarization is not only in the weapons and equipment they get its the combat training and attitude adjustment they get that citizen of america are now targets of opportunity and we are terrorist if we defend our selves from military police departments.

Homeland security is calling the actions of americans resisting the militarization of our police department as violence against the government when in fact its all about the revolt and our Right. To revolt against military sniping people on the streets like they are in Baghdad or Afghanistan. As the true law and order we american citizens are the militia who protect and defend against illegal and unconstitutional military police departments.

Obama brought the enemy to our country and now using them as justification to enact gun laws and militarization of police departments and calling citizens terrorist. We the people are the law, Obama is subject to our laws and permissions as long as he obeys and submits to our rights, freedoms, and liberties. And we have the right to disarm and overthrow all police department and government including the president terrorist as granted and declared by the Constitution we voted on and enact 238 years ago.

BU52
Provo, ut

When you have a hammer everything starts looking like a nail. This is just one sign that marks the beginning of the end of our civil society. When the people can't regulate themselves, as is evident in MO. then the government moves more toward's tyranny to protect and defend...something.

Dave T in Ogden
Ogden, UT

I believe Newton's 3 laws of physics apply to emotions. A nice smile or letting one in front of you in traffic (action) will be met with a smile or a wave in return (like but opposite reaction.) It seems there are momentum in emotions as well. It can be between individuals or groups of people, which includes hate and goodwill. The Ferguson story seems to be hate momentum at its worst. After having said that, they say if you do not know history, it will repeat itself. Remember "shock and awe", get tough 3 strikes and your out, and the war on drugs, it has not resulted in desired results. This is because of for every get tough (action,) will be met with like but opposite same push back (reactions.) As you continue with these policies, it will cause a hate momentum as a result. To solve this problem, you need to change hate to goodwill to make things work. Though this is like turning a big ship 180, it will take energy. As for the people not causing problems, you need to reach out to them (action). This will help turn this hate into goodwill.

Midvaliean
MIDVALE, UT

They don't need it. If you need military we have the National Guard. Police should NOT be the military.
I'm happy our current chief feels the way he does, now what about the next one?

liberal larry
salt lake City, utah

Huffington Post ran an article last year (10/25/13) specifically about the proliferation of SWAT teams in Ogden, Utah, where they reported:

"In Utah, for example, between task forces, sheriff's departments, police departments, state police and federal agencies, many residents are covered by a half dozen or more separate SWAT teams."

Isn't it a bit ridiculous for this level of military style policing? We should make our officers safe, but we shouldn't go to outrageous extremes in the quest for absolute safety.

Ryan9
Grantsville, UT

The fact that our police forces are gearing up with heavy-duty equipment is proof that the upper echelons know that things are going to get worse and worse, eventually requiring such force to quell 'disturbances' in the population when the economy collapses completely because of the greed and abuse that our elite have bred. The movie that Richardson should have referenced is "Soylent Green," not "Robocop."

HIGHLANDER56
EAGLE MOUNTAIN, UT

Okay, I'm an ex-cop, I'm also a retired Psychotherapist and am quite concerned about the military look of some police agencies. At the same token, what is going on in Missouri is plain and simple a terrorist invasion by a violent culture who have made no bones about their hatred of white America, authority, law enforcement, due process of law and simple adult behavior. It's unfortunate, and probably criminal that we have an Attorney General who de-facto encourages that behavior, so yeah, if I lived there I'd want the police to hit back with all they had. Time for us to admit, the real terrorists are in our country and are not going away.

cjb
Bountiful, UT

The equipment the police is are allowed to have is not the problem. Its their mentality. A year or two ago police raided a house of a marijuana grower in Ogden using a virtual no knock warrant. Suddenly they broke his door down and came storming into his house. Police said they announced they were the police but so what? The Hells Angles could have made that same announcement. He then started shooting at these home invaders and unfortunately a policeman was killed and he was wounded. I wondered and still do why the police had to use such gun ho tactics for a simple and peaceful marijuana grower. It was their lack of propriety as much as anything else that caused this mess.

The war on drugs as it has evolved has become worse than the disease it is meant to cure. America has more people in prison than per capita than any other country in the world and what do we have to show for it? The reason I don't use any of illegal drugs and never have has nothing to do with law enforcement but with education.

Bill McGee
Alpine, UT

Ogden police in full military gear smashed into a home where a man was suspected of growing marijuana, and an officer was killed. They knew where the man worked and could have simply picked him up and then served a warrant to search his home. But the impulse to behave like action heroes in the movies was too strong. Police chiefs who endorse this sort of behavior - especially when responding to non-violent crime - need to be replaced. Remember, the police weren't responding to unprovoked riots in Ferguson. The citizens were responding to the unprovoked gunning down of an unarmed teen in the middle of the street in broad daylight some 30 feet from the officer. Things had broken down long before the riot gear was broken out. Militarization is a symptom of a police force that has stopped serving and instead believe that citizens are the problem.

dearest larotten
Shepherd, MI

Gone are the days when the police were referred to as peace officers. These days they are well equipped to be so much more and the attitude is abundantly made visible in Missouri. Just because the law enforcement agency in Utah can be wonderfully diplomatic and sound quite reasonable about this does not guarantee that such sentiments are shared across the country. The rest of the "well equipped" law enforcement agencies in our cities do NOT guarantee to harboring such a sensible attitude. Don't use 911 as an excuse to target the U.S. citizenry. It's worn out. We have a constitutional right to assembly against an abuse of power. That young man was mowed down. Using 911 as an excuse is just a cop out. No pun intended.

John Pack Lambert of Michigan
Ypsilanti, MI

"Small Missouri Town" is a misleading descriptor. Ferguson has 21,000 residents, but is part of St. Louis County with 1 million residents, and St. Louis itself is not part of St. Louis County. Ferguson is best described as a St. Louis suburb.

John Pack Lambert of Michigan
Ypsilanti, MI

With the growing number of Hispanics in WVC has the city initiated any programs to recruit Hispanics into the police force. This is what they need to do to avoid the disconnect between police and community that we see in Ferguson.

cjb
Bountiful, UT

When going to school we were told that we have a dress code because clothes help shape a persons attitude. I now sespect also that military toys help do the same for police. Give them the tools that a soldier has and they act like soldiers instead of the peace officers we hire them to be.

Most of us aren't the enemy and we don't deserve to be treated as if we are.

MurrayMike
Murray, UT

If you break the law, you should be arrested. I know the kid may, or may not, have been killed by this cop without cause. It doesn't mean you have the right to riot, kidnap, loot or injure others. The officers and police of MO have every right to arrest these lawbreakers, and should!

TimBehrend
Auckland NZ, 00

My2Cents, what did you mean when you said that "Obama brought the enemy to our country"? Is he funnelling in so-called terrorists? You seethe with hatred towards the man. You might also want to review the history of the US Constitution before sounding off about it. It wasn't written in 1776. It wasn't even the first founding document of the new country. And it's not a sacred document, not least because it is doing what it was designed to do - constantly change to keep up with the times.

Stringer Bell
Henderson, NV

Re: YourTwoCents "Obama brought the enemy to our country and now using them as justification to enact gun laws and militarization of police departments and calling citizens terrorist. "

Are you serious? What gun law law has the President enacted or even hinted at enacting? Who are the "enemies" the President has brought to our country? The President has nothing to do with the "militarization" of local police departments. Talk to your congressman who authorized excessive military budgets to the point where excess military equipment is being passed down to local communities who then have to find ways to try and justify it's use.

Walt Nicholes
Orem, UT

I suspect that in the last analysis, the Chiefs of Police will do pretty much what the Mayors tell them to do.

We need to be very careful about who we elect as our Mayors.

Meckofahess
Salt Lake City, UT

@HIGHLANDER56

Well said sir!. We still do not have all the facts of what happened between the officer and Mr. Brown. Until we know if Mr. Brown attempted to assault the Police Officer and more details we won't know if he was justified in using deadly force. However, given the terrorist type reaction on the part of many citizens in Ferguson, I would want a strong and well equipped police force to protect me if I lived there. When I saw the video of the violent manner in which Mr. Brown treated the store clerk in the store he had just stolen from a few minutes before the unfortunate incident with the Police, it raised some questions in my mind about how Mr. Brown appeared to be irresponsible and violent. It appears that many in Ferguson in fact do have a "hatred of white America, authority, law enforcement, due process of law and simple adult behavior". In my opinion we need to be responsible citizens and also expect our Police to act responsibly - but let's get the facts before we react prematurely.

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