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  • Procedure Issue.

    Ok folks, here's a question.

    We used to have a special detail in our downtown area we called, "Fat Rat."

    Don't ask me where the name came up, it's not what I would have chosen to call it, but it was a hell of a lot better than "**** Patrol."

    Anyway, this detail was put into effect in order to discourage some of the more unsavory people from establishing themselves in our fair city on the weekends.

    We work with a minimum of three officers on the road and one sitting dispatch and what was happening is there were these very tough customers coming to our local bars, (We have six centrally located in a city of about 12 thousand people and that's not counting the 4 or 5 private clubs/lodges like the Moose, VFW etc.)

    The three officers on midnights could not safely respond to the number of fights and so forth and we had a couple of citizens who were seriously injured when they were attacked.

    We were also seeing known felons, drug dealers and gang members from the bigger cities north of us and they were coming down here and causing all sorts of mischief.

    It was pretty bad.

    When the chief told us we could start this detail, what we did was get all gussied up in our most intimidating BDU's, tactical vests and so forth. I also implemented a cover officer protocol.

    We would have one officer that drove an unmarked minivan, three to four arresting or contact officers and a cover officer armed with an AR15.

    The cover officer was there to look as mean as possible and to watch the backs of the arresting officers.

    Now this may sound funny, but we would arrest people for littering, DOC and public urination (Hence **** Patrol.) and we were really effective.

    The second night we did this is when we got a call about this turd in one of the bigger bars who had a gun fall out of his pants onto the dance floor. As it turns out, it was a six pound .357 magnum revolver so we were all a little shocked and any of my guys that felt somewhat uncomfortable about my cover officer idea were suddenly on the same page.

    It's like I explained, I had very little interest in people littering and ****ing downtown unless they happened to have drugs, warrants or guns. We ran into some really bad people from simple misdemeanor arrests. None of them ever gave us a problem. I think that was because of our cover officer.

    Anyway, we did this detail about a dozen times or so until the Chief got wind that we were dressed up like commandos and were toting an AR15. He felt it was excessive.

    I disagree.

    Let me try to sell you on the idea.

    The whole idea behind this was to intimidate those who would intimidate others. That simple.

    These particular individuals understand no language but that of the gun. They respect no power or authority but that of the gun. Firepower is simply an unspoken dialogue stating clearly to these people that "We will not take any crap from you. Your Kung-Fu is no good here."

    Also, when we worked this detail, we worked in large open killing areas more commonly known as parking lots. If we are on the opposite end of a parking lot dealing with an arrest and a gunfight breaks out at the other end, we have a large area to cover before we can safely and effectively engage with a handgun.
    An AR15 will be very handy in that situation. In fact, you really can't do without one then.

    Needless to say, we were very effective. One of the worst bars we had ended up having to close but since we stopped, things are looking bad again.

    Our chief didn't like the way we did things and argued that no other department was doing anything like this.

    No offense folks, but I couldn't care less what other departments do. What he calls excessive, I call cutting edge. Personally I see things going this way. Things always get worse before they get better.

    Do you agree with me or the chief?

    Let me know what you think.

    Because I have been wrong before and maybe I'm wrong now.


    Thanks for the input!


    Rev

  • #2
    You know how it is with supervisors: it's all about how the PUBLIC perceives what we're doing. What's okay in one area may not look right in another area.

    Personally, I feel that if nobody is abusing their position, all officers are acting professionally and everyone presents an image of "keeping the peace" and not "cracking skulls", you're doing your job. If you don't have to arrest or deal with these people again, you're effective. If the people you have to deal with out there leave town and never come back, that's the icing on the cake.

    Probably the most important thing would be that the general public is behind you. Forget what the the troublemakers think.

    Comment


    • #3
      Sounds like a good plan to me.

      I went on a cruise to Mexico a few years back with a buddy that often used to get me in trouble. When we got off the boat and were greeted by a bunch of guys with tactical gear and M-16s we behaved very well, despite some very fine margiratas at Carlos and Charlies.

      If the boss doesn't want to let you do what you need to do fine. When somebody gets beat up go take a report. After enough reports, or a few people getting killed the Chief will demand that you guys go in there and clean house by whatever means necessary.

      Untill then... respond to calls for service. Let people pee where they want. Don't get yourselves killed because the admin doesn't want you looking mean.
      "Why is common sense so rare?" - Me

      By the way.. They aren't "Clients" or "Customers" they're CRIMINALS... sheesh

      Comment


      • #4
        i think deploying an AR just because is excessive...have it with you in the vehicle but just walking around in the p/l with it to look bad ***? i'm a firm believer that if an officer is well dressed and professional and doesn't let anyone push them around it will get them much further than a pseudo-commando looking unit trying to intimidate by looks.
        Perseverate In Pugna

        Comment


        • #5
          Narco944,

          Remember, there is only ONE officer with the AR15 and he is the cover officer.

          He doesn't become involved in the physical arrest of suspects, (unless circumstances arise where he/she has no choice.)

          His job is to watch the backs of the contact officers.

          If you keep it in the vehicle, you may as well not have it. We were out on foot much of the time sneaking up on people.

          (I was amazed at the number of people that would walk right past us without a second glance because we weren't dressed like cops. It really helped us sneak up on people!)

          I know we are not in Iraq, but if you go to Great Britain, (where guns are practically taboo at best) you will see officers patrolling armed with MP5's.

          The intent is to remove any thought of resistance from the bad guy's mind.

          We also carried a list of the very bad people that were known to frequent these night spots. Most of them had felony warrants.

          And we did this for about three months with no complaints.

          The one complaint we got from what I understand was from a bar owner who thought we were scaring her customers away.

          And like I said, it doesn't matter how well dressed you are, or "professional" you are. (Deputy Dinkheller looked pretty well dressed to me and he called his slayer "sir" at least 35 times.)

          What a difference a long gun (and a cover officer) would have made in that stop!

          And I don't see that carrying a long gun makes you unprofessional. My friends in Great britain with the Armed Response Unit look pretty spiffy to me.

          Anyway, I do see your point, but I still think I'm right.

          Rev

          Comment


          • #6
            Rev, I wish all bosses thought like you. Address the problem - solve the problem. It's not that difficult. If the public has an issue with the program or tactics, perhaps a public education initiative is in order. Press releases to the local papers, have the PIO do some radio and TV spots and / or interviews explaining the operation. Not only will the good citizens become educated and hopefully more supportive, but the dirt bags will also know they are not welcome.

            Good luck and be safe!
            "I think it takes a particular coward to criticize procedures that you don't understand; particularly when they apply to places that you don't have the bravery to go" - Battalion Chief John Sullivan, FDNY

            "Keep your booger hook off the bang switch!" - Rev1

            "If you reload like old people [email protected], then you need to be behind something that stops bullets." - Blackdog F4i


            IGNORE = since9, justme001, opencarry, bsd13, asullivan, okjoe, Patrick Sander, CJ616

            Comment


            • #7
              Narco944,

              I would agree with you in most situations, but this was one of the few exceptions. If this had been a situation of just arguments, or a few fist fights, I would say forget the AR. But there were guns known to be at these places, and a moderate show of force is most certainly needed.

              Now having said that, after I thought about it for awhile, maybe an AR is good for a show of force, but in a situation with a lot of people around, a shotgun might be the better choice. The AR has the potential to penetrate a lot of things, including more than one person. Given that, I would probably go with something other than the AR. Not because of the "commando" look, but because of the injury it could cause to innocent bystanders.

              Just my two cents.

              Comment


              • #8
                A wise man once told me a good show of force goes a long way. With that said, I totally agree with the detail. However AR-15 or shotgun, it doesn't matter there's a complaint for both. One has too much penetration the other covers too much area or has too many projectiles. As Rev said INTIMIDATION
                is the effect sought and received. Public perception governs alot of what community leaders allow, and the community allows them to stay community leaders. The Chief, more than likely, may have gotten his thoughts on excessiveness from community leaders. My 2 cents.

                Comment


                • #9
                  If nobody is complaining about it and it works then why stop it? Sounds like community policing at it's best. Show of force and proactive arrest to go along with it of the problem people who intimidate the "community" does more for the community than cooking a bunch of hot dogs and hamburgers and passing out frisbee's on national night out. Too bad your Chief thinks the way he does, imagine how he would act if someone actually complained.
                  "Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. The MARINES don't have that problem." ....Ronald Reagan

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by WKT View Post
                    Narco944,

                    I would agree with you in most situations, but this was one of the few exceptions. If this had been a situation of just arguments, or a few fist fights, I would say forget the AR. But there were guns known to be at these places, and a moderate show of force is most certainly needed.

                    Now having said that, after I thought about it for awhile, maybe an AR is good for a show of force, but in a situation with a lot of people around, a shotgun might be the better choice. The AR has the potential to penetrate a lot of things, including more than one person. Given that, I would probably go with something other than the AR. Not because of the "commando" look, but because of the injury it could cause to innocent bystanders.

                    Just my two cents.
                    No offense, but you really need to read up on the ballistics of the .223 It's not about over-penatration but about hitting your target that counts. With a shotgun instead of one bullet you have multiple "scattered" bullets coming out at once, I'd say the opposite is true with your analogy and go with the M4 or AR in a crowd versus a shotgun if bystanders are the concern.
                    "Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. The MARINES don't have that problem." ....Ronald Reagan

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      OK here is my 2 cents worth. I hate seeing anyone but Swat type units in BDU's etc. Having been the Chief in a small town I know of the public perception, perhaps jeans and Dept matching Polo shirts or something slightly less storm trooperish. Again having a cover officer is a great idea, and shotgun or AR it not a big deal. It is there for show only most likley anyway. Perhaps a article in the local paper about what you are doing and showing the success of the program will show you as being proactive, but on the other hand the Bussiness owners will be screaming to the Chief and the City Council that you are painting a picture that shows the area around the bars is not safe and people will not frequent them now.
                      I once had the manager of the City owned Municipal Liquor store come to the city council and want to sue me and the Police Dept becuase we did an underage sting and the Muni was nailed for serving to minors. This sting was done at the request of the Council after complaints from citizens and the Muni was the only bar that got caught. The City Council said "no" I dont think we will be sueing ourselves. They also voted at the meeting to sell the Muni to a private party and end the headaches of owning a Bar.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        There's no such thing as perfect tactics. Yours sounds like a very good tactical plan, and it's obvious intent is to send a powerful message to the thugs. Your problem as I see it, is this. Sure, you can sell your idea(s) to us, and that's great. However, the guy who can, and probably will, pull the plug on your program, is your Chief. He, along with the city fathers are going to have to back you all the way. If that doesn't happen, the program, no matter how good, is toast. Sounds great to me, and I hope it works out well for the dept.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Thanks everybody for your input!

                          I really appreciate it!

                          I know this idea isn't perfect and some people will just despise it, but I think it's the best solution for the problem we had at the time.

                          Unfortunately, we recently had a couple of gun incidents and at least one major beating downtown. We haven't run this program in a couple of years and things are looking bleak again. Most of the officers on midnights believe it's only a matter of time before someone gets shot.

                          I can only hope that it isn't an officer.

                          But I bet if we started this up again, there's a pretty good chance it wouldn't be anybody.

                          But it's like PhilipCal said, I have to sell the idea to the chief.

                          And that's not going to happen.

                          Until someone DOES get shot.

                          Rev

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            We get the same thing sometimes when operating downtown, "do not run around downtown with your M-4's". You can satisfy your purpose with a shotgun. I don't care how bad you are, you don't mess with the guy holding a shotgun and you cringe or drop when the thing gets racked. As far as the multiple projectiles someone mentioned, 00 buck doesn't really spread that much over the "typical distance" your cover officer would be operating with (I'm picturing a downtown area where the range is broken down by building all around and such). And, if distance is a concern, there are always slugs which are pretty deadly and accurate at longer ranges. Besides, if someone asks for a hole to be put in them, you probably want to go for a lot bigger hole than a .223
                            "You don't want the truth because, deep down in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me on that wall, you need me on that wall... I have neither the time, nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it."

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Rev1 View Post
                              Thanks everybody for your input!

                              I really appreciate it!

                              I know this idea isn't perfect and some people will just despise it, but I think it's the best solution for the problem we had at the time.

                              Unfortunately, we recently had a couple of gun incidents and at least one major beating downtown. We haven't run this program in a couple of years and things are looking bleak again. Most of the officers on midnights believe it's only a matter of time before someone gets shot.

                              I can only hope that it isn't an officer.

                              But I bet if we started this up again, there's a pretty good chance it wouldn't be anybody.

                              But it's like PhilipCal said, I have to sell the idea to the chief.

                              And that's not going to happen.

                              Until someone DOES get shot.

                              Rev
                              I think your first step is to have some type of department meeting get everyone's take on the situation and so the chief can hear his people in an open forum. Nothing unprofessional and certainly not personal but laying down that there is a problem and it needs to be addressed before someone gets hurt.

                              Second your mayor and city council needs to be involved, they need to be made aware and of the situation and acknowledge that something needs to be done.

                              Someone mentioned a public announcement of a special tactical patrol to deal with these scumbags giving your town a bad name. (The idea is to blame the bad element and not make the bar(s) to look like the bad guys).

                              I know this is a lot of work and a very rough idea, but if your chief is not even willing to acknowledge the problem then I would consider employment elsewhere.

                              Comment

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