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Comments about ‘In our opinion: Avoid blurring the line between police and military’

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Published: Wednesday, Aug. 20 2014 1:33 p.m. MDT

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SCfan
clearfield, UT

Disagree with the tone of this on many fronts. First. The police as military? Come on. The police all over America are essentially the local military. Their training, weapons, ect. are all military oriented. Just about every department has a swat team. To read this article, one would think that the writer has been watching to much Andy Griffith Show, where the Andy does not even wear a gun, and his deputy Barny Fife carries one bullet. Next, to say the video of the robbery had nothing to do with the incident is not yet a fact in evidence, and logic would say that even if the officer did not know Mr. Brown was a suspect in a robbery, Mr. Brown knew he was, and likely could have been reacting to the police because he figured the police officer knew too. And finally, talk about a rush to judgement going on here. From all experts I've heard from, a grand jury is not convened until all evidence if in. This is clearly jury by mob rule. Many have already convicted the officer even though there is a lot of conflicting evidence.

Midvaliean
MIDVALE, UT

The truth is, the police are prepared for a violent encounter. So HOW can they get protesters to stop when it just keeps escalating. This is the disadvantage of our police, who are trained to kill, none of them seem to know how to De-escalate anything.

JoeBlow
Far East USA, SC

This article is also germane to the situation on the border in Texas where pseudo militia members are dressing up in camo's and working on the border.

"How do they identify themselves? Do they have badges? How do we know who they are?" asked J.P. Rodriguez, a spokesman for the Hidalgo County Sheriff's Office. "If they're all just dressed in camos, it's kind of hard to distinguish whether they're law enforcement or not. ... There's a lot of potential for stuff to go wrong."

Kralon
HUNTINGTON BEACH, CA

This isn't just local police, it seems like every Federal agency also has a militarized police force.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Instead of telling Police to avoid blurring the line between police and military... How about we encourage criminals to avoid blurring the line between individuals doing individual crimes, and mobs???

Mobs of people doing blind-rage crime blitzes require a near military response to protect innocent people in the neighborhood from being victims to these crimes.

What do you want the Police to do... just sit back and let mobs burn down the town???

===================

When a mob is going down the street breaking out windows and steeling everything from each building as they go... at that point you kinda need a semi-military response. Or at least more than an officer with a note pad asking questions and taking notes.

The response needs to fit the threat.

If mobs stop roaming the streets at night, looting, attacking people, etc... then the police can probably tone-down their response.

As long as mobs are roaming the streets committing mass crimes... there kinda needs to be a mass-response (which some are calling "military" response).

This small town calling in the National Guard and the State Police was the right thing to do (IMO).

FT
salt lake city, UT

Given what the NRA and gun rights advocates have done to this country we have little choice but to militarize our police.

Klarson
Sandy, UT

Local police don't drive around in armored vehicles in full body armor carrying automatic rifles. Police officers on the street wear normal police uniforms and carry a pistol. However, it's important for police to have "military grade" weapons and equipment available if needed. Police responding to a shooting or hostage situation, conducting arrests of violent criminals and drug dealers should be using full body armor, sniper rifles, and automatic weapons because this "militarized" equipment protects the lives of the officers when they are undertaking a dangerous job. Body armor is important when dealing with violent rioters as well, because the police need protection from rocks, firebombs, and even bullets. Trying to blame the lawless, violent acts of the rioters in Ferguson on the "militarization of the police" is specious. The protesters in Ferguson could have chosen a non-violent path. They chose looting and violence. To suggest that they became violent because the police were wearing helmets and body armor assumes that the rioters are not capable of making rational decisions. Let's put the blame for the rioting and looting where it belongs; with the people who choose to riot and loot.

Esquire
Springville, UT

The militarization of police is a serious problem. I've seen it and been concerned about this for quite some time. It is having a negative effect, including with some conservative, well education friends with military backgrounds. This is an issue with day-to-day police work, in their reaction to problems that come up. I know of situations where they have no problem shooting someone rather than try to deal with a problem in other ways, which was done more in the past. It's easier this way. My fear is that our society is like the proverbial frog in the heating pot of water.

illuminated
St George, UT

Let it be forever remembered: George Bush put troops on the streets of Iraq, Barack Obama put troops on the streets of America.

patriot
Cedar Hills, UT

perhaps police should just roll up the window in their crusier - turn on the AC and their IPOD and ignore the robbing and killing going on around them. If I am a police officer and I look at what I am paid and I get zero respect or support from politians or the media I quickly conclude that putting my life on the line for a public that seems to care more about the rights of criminals and killers is ...well ...maybe its time for a job change. Now when business owners and home owners see violent crime sky rocket in their neighborhoods and start crying "where are the police" I think the answer is "why do you care"? What is happening in Fergeson is disgusting as the police are being thrown under the bus without any care of what the real truth is. The "lynch mob" mentality in Fergeson is frightening and feels more like a bananna republic than America where you are 'supposed to be 'presummed innocent until PROVEN guilty. What has happened to this country???

TMR
Los Angeles, CA

The militarization of police in the US is very disturbing and may be part of a larger problem reflected in America's bizarre fixation against reasonable gun control. We live in a violent culture devoid of commonsense. Sad.

Craig Clark
Boulder, CO

"....There are indications, as well, that police in Ferguson inflamed the situation by donning riot gear, imposing curfews and releasing video of the suspect committing an unrelated robbery. Burbank said the use of helmets and riot gear seems like an invitation for people to throw bottles and other objects...."
______________________________

It would be gratifying to see the Deseret News acknowledge that the news media also could share some of the blame on the score of inflaming the situation.

Shane333
Cedar Hills, UT

I for one have no problem with the police having whatever weapons, armor, and vehicles they want to get. At the same time, in accordance with both the letter and spirit of the Constitutional Bill of Rights, private citizens should be able to acquire and carry whatever weapons, armor, and vehicles the police are using.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

From watching the news... It looks like the more violent aspects of the "protests" in Furguson are winding down now, and I'm sure the police response will also wind down as the protests become less violent.

procuradorfiscal
Tooele, UT

Re: ". . . police departments are becoming increasingly militarized, blurring the lines between local law enforcement and the military."

The only blurring is in the eye of pro-crime liberals, cynically using appearance to overwhelm actual substance. Their goal is disarming local police, transferring ever more power to the national government. And, they're gaining unfortunate traction with the callow and uninformed, to whom symbolism and appearance mean more than substance.

It's not weapons or tactics that make a force military. It's the mission and operational control.

The military's nationally-controlled mission is to protect us from foreign threats. Locally controlled police protect us from an internal criminal element. Since real America has no greater influence over the decisions of criminals than of foreign enemies, police agencies need to be as prepared to meet the criminal threat as is the military to meet foreign threats.

Real America's fear is not that locally-controlled police agencies will infringe our rights, but that a Constitution-hostile President may be enabled to call in military assets to enforce his will on us, because callow liberals allowed criminal capabilities to overwhelm local assets.

Anti Bush-Obama
Chihuahua, 00

What a bunch of Martial Law Sympathizers we have on the boards here. Freedom means absolutely nothing to them and they won't hold the police accountable for anything. They are the true slaves.

Anti Bush-Obama
Chihuahua, 00

2bits

The mainstream media lies. Last night there was video of police beating up members of the press. One member of the press found a whole stash of moltov cocktails in a trash bin outside of a gas station. Fox, MSNBC, and CNN are just fountains of misinformation. Pay attention to the alternative media who are actually filming the protests and not the mainstream media who are 10 miles away.

funny_guy
Vacaville, CA

Nearly 40 years ago, I did a ride-along in Oakland, CA. There was a call for assistance in an area referred to as "The Projects." Being nearby I asked if we would respond. He said no. I thought everyone had the right to police protection. Realizing my angst, he said let me show you why we don't go down there. As we entered the neighborhood a group of possibly eight young males under the age of 10 were standing on a corner. Drawing near, they began throwing rocks, bottles, etc. at the patrol car. Apparently, these youth had been taught the police are bad.

The police are constantly exposed to such behavior. Yes, the police do seem overly militant but they often have good reason. I would not put my life on the line, day in and day out, to babysit dysfunctional behavior. Our nation was founded upon principles of personal responsibility and accountability. If we weren't such a self-serving society and learned to get along with each other the need for law enforcement would be minimal. Reruns of "Andy of Mayberry" run through my head.

Open Minded Mormon
Everett, 00

Interesting...

Pro-gun nuts insist the answer is
MORE guns on the streets and in the hands of people,
and
with NO back ground checks what-so-ever...

And when situations like this happen,
they slither quietly under a rug,
and hope the storm blows over without anyone calling them on it.

Well?...what say you?...

BTW --
I made this comment the other day --

The Nazi SS was NOT a military unit,
but a militarized POLICE unit.

What we are witnessing is
a slow creeping repeat of disaster.

Darrel
Eagle Mountain, UT

There is a reason Soldiers aren't cops.

Why are we trying to make cops Soldiers? If a situation requires military grade equipment, mobilize the National Guard, allow them to have a QRF like the Army does so that they can readily respond.

This will allow a second set of eyes to determine of the force being used is excessive.

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