• September 16, 2014

Killeen reader offers comments on topic of ‘militarizing’ local police

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Posted: Saturday, August 30, 2014 4:30 am

To the Editor:

Whether or not we should “militarize local police” depends on your personal perspective.

As a child growing up in a small South Carolina town, I was impressed that our local cop (affectionate tone) wore a typical cop hat, leather jacket, and more importantly, a 38 Special sidearm. His car, a black Ford sedan, was distinct only by the “bubble gum machine”-shaped light centered on the front part of the roof.

Occasionally, the whole scene was made even more impressive when I could hear the siren bleating a warning for someone to actually stop at our one traffic light.

Officer Brabham, or Mr. Brabham as he was actually addressed respectfully by local kids, was effective for the place and time in which he served. Think Mayberry RFD.

Now leap forward and have Officer Brabham serve in Killeen, or God forbid, Chicago, and he would be woefully outclassed and outgunned by local criminals.

Given the tempo of the current times, I doubt that fine gentleman and upholder of law would survive one night in today’s environment.

Whether you like it or not, cops are us.

They are our friends, and family members, and they are in “harm’s way” every time they report for duty.

If a threat exists, I want to have the most accurate and dependable weapon I can afford to protect my family and home until “Mr. Brabham” arrives.

When he/she arrives, I want him to have the authority, and instruments to protect and serve the law enforcement needs of our community.

If criminals have AK-47s, I want the cops to have M-4s and know how to use them. Also, I want the officers to have a chance to survive in a gunfight.

The government’s decision to help keep chaos at bay with armored vehicles is a reasonable start.

God bless our police.

Don Fender

Killeen

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29 comments:

  • Alvin posted at 6:48 am on Sun, Sep 7, 2014.

    Alvin Posts: 190

    @Dr Strangelove; That's the form of government we have, it's being ran by 'CIVILIANS', and if you don't like that form of government you might try somewhere else, like North Korea. Those 'STUPID CIVILIANS' as you phrase it are a unique part of our government. You keep talking about the need to the KPD to have these weapons, but you fail to give your answer, or any answer, as to 'why the KPD should be allowed to seek these weapons in the volume, 231 purchased as to the number of employees on the force, 232, or why an individual is still in the position of 'contract administration' after the fiasco of the purchase of 'the Tahoe's'. No I have not been shot at, but I ask you, was it your occupation or military service? If it was your 'chosen' occupation, that's one thing. If it was because of your military service, that's another.
    As for 'waste in our governmental structure, do not use the principles of structure, be it Democratic or Republic as the excuse for governmental waste, it won't fly with me. I chose not to express my feelings of 'governmental waste', as in the $300,000.00, 'cost' for the new armored vehicle, that the excuse given was 'some of the overpasses would take the over burden'. I've asked a number of times, 'what overpasses can not take the weight, where is the 'old antiquated Air Force supplied vehicle stored', and is it serviceable'. I have, as yet, not been supplied with an answer. Why is that??? I, I think, this is a reasonable question or do you favor a 'civilian' not being able to ask such a question? With this form of government that exists, or should exist, between parties, I think that 'a question such as this', should be in the framework of our present government. If not, 'watch out – Big Brother is watching. Which framework of government do you wish to see?
    One of the 1 % who voted.

     
  • Dr Strangelove posted at 1:26 pm on Sat, Sep 6, 2014.

    Dr Strangelove Posts: 442

    Alvin, the reason LAPD was out gunned back then; it was STUPID CIVILIVANS on the City Council that would not allow the LAPD to purchase military type weapons. I’ve been shot at; have you? I say again I don’t have problem with KPD having these weapons.

    As for waste in government it’s been around since Moses we will always have it.

     
  • Alvin posted at 7:08 pm on Fri, Sep 5, 2014.

    Alvin Posts: 190

    That was one incident, years back. If they had been prepared, by your standards, they would have had ineffective bullet proof vests, unarmored police cars, while the bad guys held all of the fortified weapons. And your story goes to the SWAT who held advanced weaponry, a commandeered armored truck and some additional appropriated AR 15s from a local dealer. I assume, 'they eventually took them out' for I don't remember the episode you are referring to.
    So what is the moral of your story, that when police are outmatched they sit tight and call for SWAT 'who are trained and have weaponry for that service', or do you propose that If and when inefficiently trained local officers, who have an FN 15 gets finger happy just itching to shoot the weapon, goes barging in, hell bent for glory, and gets injured or worse yet, killed in the line of duty, not willing to call for reinforcements or the SWAT.
    Don't get me wrong, I am in favor of giving the police department 'all of the necessary equipment', but I am not in favor of giving each KPD employee his own personal FN 15, all except one which I guess will remain nameless. I am not in favor of the purchase of new sedan automobiles when they were purchased about one or two years ago and they were deemed 'too little for the police to carry all of their gear, so they repurchased Tahoe's, because they could carry all of the patrolman's equipment. These new units, as I understand it, only a percentage of them actually hit the pavement. Where did the remainder go??? What happened to the purchasing agent who purchased the 'wrong vehicles'.
    I am not in favor of what I deem to be 'waste by the town's employee's, and in the case of the volume of weapons purchased.
    One of the 1 % who voted.

     
  • Eliza posted at 2:40 pm on Fri, Sep 5, 2014.

    Eliza Posts: 755

    [thumbup]

     
  • Eliza posted at 2:39 pm on Fri, Sep 5, 2014.

    Eliza Posts: 755

    @ You keep refering to 'one lone police officer' is confronted or confronts many or is heavily armed, My answer to that is 'wait for reinforcements, such as the SWAT to arrive. You all don't have to be an Audie Murphy and charge. As I've said here previously, that's what the SWAT team is for.
    -------------

    I'm sure criminals are going to wait before they may shoot an officer/s until the officer/s SWAT team gets to the scene.

    That's not thinking logically.

    Repeat--- To many want to badmouth the police, until they need them.

     
  • Dr Strangelove posted at 10:35 am on Fri, Sep 5, 2014.

    Dr Strangelove Posts: 442

    Remember the North Hollywood shootout Local patrol officers at the time were typically armed with their standard issue 9 mm or .38 Special pistols, with some having a 12-gauge shotgun available in their cars. Phillips and Mătăsăreanu carried illegally modified fully automatic Norinco Type 56 S-1s, a Bushmaster XM15 Dissipator, and a HK-91 rifle with high capacity drum magazines and ammunition capable of penetrating vehicles and police Kevlar vests. The bank robbers wore body armor which successfully deflected bullets and shotgun pellets fired by the responding patrolmen. THE POLICE WAS OUT GUNNED!

    SWAT eventually arrived bearing sufficient firepower, and they commandeered an armored truck to evacuate the wounded. Several officers also appropriated AR-15 rifles from a nearby firearms dealer. The incident sparked debate on the need for patrol officers to upgrade their capabilities in similar situations in the future.

    I don’t have a problem with KPD having these weapons—it’s called being prepared!

     
  • Roody2 posted at 9:11 am on Thu, Sep 4, 2014.

    Roody2 Posts: 253


    [thumbup]

     
  • Alvin posted at 6:41 am on Thu, Sep 4, 2014.

    Alvin Posts: 190

    @Eliza: No, I do not want a policeman to walk like chicken little, just a regular gait, but my reference was to the amount of 'extra' equipment that the police of nowadays wears. A policeman wears so much 'armament' that he/she cannot touch his/her hips, forcing them to swing their arms out to the side. So much for the gait.
    As you are well aware, my position as to this town is many of the questions I've been asking such as 'why did we, and I reference this to the council, want to provide 231 FN 15 weapons when there is only 232 on the force? Who didn't get one? It seems ludicrous for the department to even present such a request. On the subject of the the armored vehicle that this request by the police department that 'this was a flimsy excuse'. I have asked numerous times for a justification of this vehicle and 'none has been provided'. Why???
    You keep refering to 'one lone police officer' is confronted or confronts many or is heavily armed, My answer to that is 'wait for reinforcements, such as the SWAT to arrive. You all don't have to be an Audie Murphy and charge. As I've said here previously, that's what the SWAT team is for.
    I think I've asked some pertinent questions, not reflective of any individual, but the police department itself. I would say this, 'if the police department asks the citizenry of this town for something, make sure you really need it because if you ask for too much, it may be turned down. Rember chicken little – 'The sky is falling, the sky is falling.
    One the 1 % who voted.

     
  • Eliza posted at 8:32 pm on Wed, Sep 3, 2014.

    Eliza Posts: 755

    [thumbup]

     
  • Eliza posted at 8:31 pm on Wed, Sep 3, 2014.

    Eliza Posts: 755

    [thumbup]

     
  • Eliza posted at 8:28 pm on Wed, Sep 3, 2014.

    Eliza Posts: 755

    @ they have to swagger when they walk.

    What's wrong with a swagger in their walk--
    What would you want a police officer walking like chicken little ?

    In every news report and every news paper ,the people are being told about the danger that is among us or surrounding us or coming after us.

    If one lone police officer runs up against trouble involving one ,or many who may be heavily armed , I want them to at least have an equal chance to come out alive.
    You can't wait for the SWAT team get to you if you're being shot at ,at the moment.
    You have to react .

    To many want to badmouth the police, until they need them.

     
  • Alvin posted at 1:20 pm on Wed, Sep 3, 2014.

    Alvin Posts: 190

    I think ya'll are making my point for me, that in this day and age, the police are vulnerable, but by that I do not see the necessity to get armed up for all eventualities. I feel that the police do not have to wear their armored flak jacket, the now popular FN 15, all 231 of them, the cartridge belt fully quipped with weapon, extra ammunition, hand cuffs, etc, so that they have to walk, when they get out of the brand new Tahoe's fully equipped with all the latest bells and whistles, computers, etc. s they have to swagger when they walk. The armored car, which the Air Force 'gave' then a number of years back, if it was serviceable, I still haven't heard of of the overpasses they cannot negotiate.
    As I said, this town has a fully functional SWAT team that is and has been trained for just such an occurrence. Leave it to the ones that are trained in such matters, not novices. Don't spend money just for the sake of spending money.
    One of the 1 &% who voted in the last election.

     
  • barbie500 posted at 11:32 am on Wed, Sep 3, 2014.

    barbie500 Posts: 135

    In this day and age the police need all they can get to protect them, its as simple as that. The way people have no respect for the law anymore has become a way of life. Use to be we respected the law and did what we were supposed to do. Too many policemen are getting murderd now and if they need this gear to save their lives so be it.

     
  • Bubba posted at 8:59 am on Wed, Sep 3, 2014.

    Bubba Posts: 694

    There's a lot of liberal whining about this, and lots of self-serving posturing. Most who comment simply reveal that they really don't know what they're talking about: MRAPs are trucks.

    This is all well and good until there's a problem and then the same people who whined about it are whining that the police failed to arrive prepared for the situation at hand, failed to protect them, weren't properly equipped, and they want to know why.

    This is why.

     
  • quickerNu posted at 1:58 pm on Tue, Sep 2, 2014.

    quickerNu Posts: 3

    I am all for local police departments having good, modern equipment and technology that supports officer safety. I also support most larger towns having SWAT teams, where the cream of the crop are trained to handle the rare situations that require "SPECIAL WEAPONS AND TACTICS", and those teams being utilized by nearby small towns, if needed, by pre-arranged mutual aid agreements.

    What I do not support, is towns who dress their officers in paramilitary uniforms, and have MRAPs or other tank-like war vehicles. President Obama said "tools of war do not belong on American streets". He has used this to restrict access to legal firearms by law-abiding American citizens. However, his administration is supplying the tools of war to any city, regardless of special training, who want one. This includes an Arkansas town of under 700, who "lost" a HUMVEE, gas masks, and machine guns.

    Militarization breeds an "us" v "them" mentality among police departments and the citizens. They are civilians and members of the community, too. They should feel that way and citizens should feel they are approachable, not that they are highly trained killers ready to quash the population at a moment's notice. Wearing full tactical gear instead of a police uniform does not help this relationship.

    Call in the National Guard if you need it, but Andy Griffith doesn't need a tank.

     
  • Alvin posted at 1:32 pm on Mon, Sep 1, 2014.

    Alvin Posts: 190

    Well if you will recall, back at the turn of the last century, the police did carry sticks, night sticks and it was a lot more comfortable back then. But if we can be a little more sensible, I still feel that 'not every policeman needs a FN 15 for his very own, a flak jacket, ammunition belt, weapon, extra clips, hand cuffs and what not so that he, or she, has to walk with a built in swagger step. Can' even put his hands down to meet his belt line. We have a SWAT SQUAD for that very purpose. The swat should be trained, equipped, and funded for that very purpose. I too feel that with the police 'arming everyone to the teeth is breeding 'a big brother concept'.
    You say 'crime does not pay' well in this day and age in rioting and looting conditions, what I saw, there was quite a bit of merchandise being hauled out of the stores'.
    One of the 1% who voted.

     
  • Dr Strangelove posted at 12:35 pm on Mon, Sep 1, 2014.

    Dr Strangelove Posts: 442

    Ok some of you right I agree let’s disarm the police let them carry sticks. To cure the crime problem in Killeen we need Red Light Scam Cameras at all traffic light locations—remember Crime Does Not Pay!

     
  • Alvin posted at 9:07 am on Mon, Sep 1, 2014.

    Alvin Posts: 190

    @Brazosdave: Good for you in putting my thoughts down here on paper. People don't respect the law so you have to use brute force on them. I agree, we are swiftly becoming the 'land of big brother'. What I don't agree with is 'why do we have to resort to this type of behavior'.
    One of the 1 % who voted.

     
  • brazosdave posted at 4:31 am on Mon, Sep 1, 2014.

    brazosdave Posts: 5

    From what I glean, some of you feel the police need military grade firepower because "people don't respect the laws". So cool, now we use brute force to make a point. And we removed Saddam from power for what? We are slowly handing away our freedoms, and trading them for big brother knows best. A lot of the posters are correct, America is not the same as it was. We are apparently now a nation of weak cowards who need heavily armed police to save them from the criminal masses. Sheep.

     
  • Roody2 posted at 8:27 am on Sun, Aug 31, 2014.

    Roody2 Posts: 253

    Cities all across the nation are preparing for whats to come... Fergusons everywhere. People just aren't paying attention.

    Our "progress" is jobs going to the "global" market and work will soon be a thing of the past for many Americans.

    Baby boomers are retiring at the rate of 300k per month and the Ponzi scheme they've been paying into is going broke.

    Our government is finishing us off financially. What do you think is going to happen when the bill comes due and they can't pay?

    There will be no retirement checks. Very few jobs. People will be rioting in the streets just like they do when it happens in other countries.

    Our current administration is doing everything they can to "divide" America.

    The biggest lie you can be told right now is that nothing like that could ever happen to the USA. But, it's just a matter of time and they know it and they are preparing for it.

     
  • Alvin posted at 3:06 pm on Sat, Aug 30, 2014.

    Alvin Posts: 190

    Addendum:2

    I believe the amount of firepower to be used is proportional. Why does the town of Killeen need to supply everyone of their officers with a FN 15 when a large majority sit at desks every day especially when they have a SWAT SQUAD that is trained for that very occasion. I'm sorry, but to me 'it's overkill'. And I believe the 'new armored vehicle falls in that same guideline. If you can tell me ' how much time will be saved, on each and every occasion that the vehicle will be used, I may feel differently, but until you do, I think that this another ploy by the police to get money out of this town. The excuse given is very thin to nonexistent. I'm sorry but that's the way I feel about this whole issue.
    I do not think that the police was responsible for an overkill in Ferguson. I do not think the crowds who ran rampant and the looting was justified. I do not think that the president was right in making excuses for the people and then not attend the Funeral of a 2 star General. Nay I do not think we have strong leadership today, but that's my own personal opinion.
    One the the 1% who voted.

     
  • Roody2 posted at 12:56 pm on Sat, Aug 30, 2014.

    Roody2 Posts: 253

    'REMOVE THE ONES WHO ARE OUT TO DESTROY THIS COUNTRY'.

    I agree... and start with the ones in Washington (from the top down).

     
  • Dr Strangelove posted at 10:59 am on Sat, Aug 30, 2014.

    Dr Strangelove Posts: 442

    Oh BTW the look at some of these gangs in Killeen these thugs come from other large major cities.

     
  • Dr Strangelove posted at 10:57 am on Sat, Aug 30, 2014.

    Dr Strangelove Posts: 442

    I grew up in a major city in Michigan the Police needs to be armed with best equipment; the thugs are.

     
  • Eliza posted at 10:06 am on Sat, Aug 30, 2014.

    Eliza Posts: 755

    @ Why is this culture of today became one in which there is no respect towards the citizenry and personal property?

    Courts---It isn't the police ho are to blame, the majority try to do their jobs, Its after the courts take over and defense attorneys come into the picture where you begin to have problems.


    You just made your own point Alvin of why the local law need a form of heavy duty equipment---No respect any longer for rules and regulations ,no honor code of any type No respect from many people for law enforcement.

    Did you see the wild melee that happened in Mo. Caused mostly by those who had no interest other then what they could steal from the town.
    If that happened in Killeen, Would the people want or deserve to have their city torn up just because a group of trouble makers decided to distract so they could carry out the reason they were really there, to destroy and rob the citizens as they did in Ferguson.

    When you are brought up to respect authority ,you're able to do it the majority of your life.
    There are too many in this time who haven't had the chance to be taught respect for themselves much less others, who don't care to be told they have to follow rules and regulations,
    But you have to ,otherwise ,there will be chaos.

     
  • Roody2 posted at 9:14 am on Sat, Aug 30, 2014.

    Roody2 Posts: 253

    The "entitled" have time to protest all day/ night for their "rights" and to wreak havoc on the town/nation when things don't go their way while the rest are too busy trying to make a living for themselves. This is the result.

    Next step is to bring in the Peacekeepers. And, history shows, when they come they never leave.

     
  • Alvin posted at 9:09 am on Sat, Aug 30, 2014.

    Alvin Posts: 190

    @ Eliza;
    If as you say 'There are some REALLY bad guys (and gals) out there. We have found recently its not only the homegrown variety of bad guys or gals we have to be alert for, But possibility the International variety have drifted into our area.' Then 'why aren't we doing something about it'? Is it better, and more logical, to 'remove the threat rather than beef up to meet it'?
    I have had the opinion that 'the best defense is a strong offense'. If we are plagued by 'PROPAGANDIST' then 'REMOVE THE ONES WHO ARE OUT TO DESTROY THIS COUNTRY'.
    I believe we are not sheep to be led, but leaders. I believe it's about time for this country to show some leadership. That is my opinion for what it's worth.
    One of the 1 % who voted.

     
  • Alvin posted at 8:51 am on Sat, Aug 30, 2014.

    Alvin Posts: 190

    Mr. Fender may have spent his younger years growing up in South Carolina, but I spent my younger years growing up right here in Texas and this isn't the Texas as I remember it.
    A few weeks ago, it was called for and voted on for the supply of 231 FN-15 weapons. Then it was stated that the police department numbers 232 personnel. My question is this 'who didn't get one'? Now before you get all hot and bothered, I am for the police to be armed, but not to the extent that is being portrayed here. I am not in favor of 'every patrolman/woman' being equipped with the latest and greatest weapon just for the sake of 'them having one'.
    I personally believe this police department employs 'too much firepower' that the average citizen is being shown daily, armored vests, FN 15's in the squad cars, belts with hand cuffs, extra ammunition clips, and what not so that the patrolman cannot touch his hips without banging his arms on 'special equipment'. I more favor 'the olden times' when a patrolman, who was suited, going down the street swinging a 'baton'. In those days people 'had respect' for a policeman, but alas that is not today. But my question is 'WHY'. Why is this culture of today became one in which there is no respect towards the citizenry and personal property? If this was not so then there would not be a need for such extensive firepower.
    I was 'not' in favor' of the #300,000.00 purchase of the SWAT vehicle, and my reasoning is simple – it was stated that 'the overpasses would not carry the weight'. I ask the question, 'what overpasses were not able to sustain the overweight condition' and how much of a detriment, time, would it be to pick another route, and as usual I did not get an answer. You never get an answer out of this town.
    I respect your opinion, but I am not convinced.
    One of the 1 % who voted.

     
  • Eliza posted at 8:37 am on Sat, Aug 30, 2014.

    Eliza Posts: 755

    @ They are our friends, and family members, and they are in “harm’s way” every time they report for duty.
    If a threat exists, I want to have the most accurate and dependable weapon I can afford to protect my family and home until “Mr. Brabham” arrives.
    When he/she arrives, I want him to have the authority, and instruments to protect and serve the law enforcement needs of our community.
    If criminals have AK-47s, I want the cops to have M-4s and know how to use them. Also, I want the officers to have a chance to survive in a gunfight.
    The government’s decision to help keep chaos at bay with armored vehicles is a reasonable start.
    God bless our police.----------------

    Excellent letter to Editor. with the same thoughts that's felt at my own house.
    It tells how todays reality of life has to be faced.

    There used to be bad guys out there as stated, But today-
    There are some REALLY bad guys (and gals) out there. We have found recently its not only the homegrown variety of bad guys or gals we have to be alert for, But possibility the International variety have drifted into our area.

    Our local police dept. is our 1st line of defense against possible harm and danger from any direction involving local or international danger.
    It only makes good sense, that Of course, I want them armed to the best of their ability for my defense and their own .

    There have been those nationally and locally who have come onto the public scene.to ridicule our local police dept. as being militarized.

    This type of PROPAGANDA coming from National ,some State and Many Local complaints in the general area that the police dept. is out to get you. Is just that PROPAGANDA.
    From those who have their own personal reasoning/agenda to not want the local dept. to be as well armed, as any they may have to go up against at sometime in the future.

    An article in Time Mag. was written several years ago interviewing a member of one of the well known National Gang Organizations originating in California.
    He stated ,that how their organization made their moves through out the country, was ,
    Anywhere there was a local police dept. that wasn't well manned, or well armed ,they knew would be an easy area for any crimes they wanted to commit.

    From some who have come out and stated they don't feel comfortable with ,what they conceive, as a militarized police dept.
    I say, I don't feel comfortable with some of the ones making that statement , and know it is PROPAGANDA, being spread to those who may not be able to think for themselves.