Leader

Collapse

Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Question About Police Wearing Balaclava Masks in the US

Collapse

300x250 Mobile

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Question About Police Wearing Balaclava Masks in the US

    I was under the impression that American police generally did not wear balaclava type masks (ski masks) for a variety of reasons: so that their fellow officers could recognize them, so that members of the public could recognize them in the event of a dispute, etc.

    I noticed that some of the officers on the scene of the shooting yesterday in Washington at the Holocaust Museum were wearing balaclava-type masks (see pictures below). I don't recall seeing officers in public dressed like this before. It certainly wasn't cold so this wasn't a weather decision.

    I'm curious why some officers like this would be wearing masks and if there is any kind of departmental policy on a matter like this when the officer's features are hidden. I seem to remember reading that the LAPD prohibited masks like this. I've seen NYPD officers wear modified balaclava in the winter but their entire face is visible, only the neck and sides of head are covered.

    Some of the masked officers were patrolling the perimeter of the building, walking back and forth whereas others were standing in posts at corners of the building as seen in the first two pictures below.








  • #2
    Those are SWAT team members, not 'regular' patrol officers..........balaclavas are typically part of the SWAT deployment uniform, esp for entries ect.....
    The posts on this forum by this poster are of his personal opinion, and his personal opinion alone

    "Politicians are like diapers. They need to be changed often and for the same reason"

    "We fight not for glory; nor for wealth; nor honor, but only and alone we fight for freedom, which no good man surrenders but with his life"

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by LA DEP View Post
      Those are SWAT team members, not 'regular' patrol officers..........balaclavas are typically part of the SWAT deployment uniform, esp for entries ect.....
      I figured they were SWAT, but they weren't performing SWAT-like functions, at least from what I saw.

      That then raises the question: why do SWAT wear balaclavas?

      Comment


      • #4
        Many departments across the US have part time swat teams. Meaning the team only gathers when there's a swat operation but normally they are doing other duties such as regular patrol, training officers, undercover detectives, etc. Also, it is very common here for our undercover officers to wear balaclavas when they are doing a large bust. That's to protect their identity. It's also useful when using flash bangs or smashing windows to help keep from getting cut by flying glass, etc....

        It's normally not difficult to identify a swat officer. Usually they'll have a outer vest on with SWAT or POLICE or something on it to identify them and they will be in military type clothing. And finally the easiest way to know whether or not they are a good guy or a bad guy, unusually (), a SWAT officer isn't shooting at me, but at the bad guy.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by KJB
          It's a tactical thing, think of it as camouflage.
          Tactical, yes. Camoulage, no.

          Aaronc, if you will check out the ads, in police equipment catalogs, for balaclavas; it will stress that they're flame redardent/resistant. Tactical teams may also deploy "flash-bang" devices which will send sparks and (perhaps) small rubber balls about the room. The masks will limit exposure to these irritants.

          I need to ask where you got your facts about LAPD banning them? I worked LAPD for 30 years...SWAT officers on a mission wore them. I don't recall any prohibition about wearing them on patrol...crowd control regs enacted right before I retired were about having your name imprinted on your helmet, but then nothing would surprise me about something being banned just so the L.A. Chapter of the ACLU might feel like they're having an impact.
          Last edited by Kieth M.; 06-11-2009, 01:31 PM.
          "You're never fully dressed without a smile."

          Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.

          Three things I know for sure: (1) No bad deed goes unrewarded, (2) No good deed goes unpunished, and (3) It is entirely possible to push the most devoted, loyal and caring person beyond the point where they no longer give a 5h!t.

          Comment


          • #6
            Now I understand. Thanks for the info. Face protection makes good sense. I guess the SWAT officers suited up yesterday not knowing what they would be facing and then were doing some kind of perimeter work after the fact. I have seen SWAT on rooftops wearing balaclavas but not on the street like this.

            Police wearing balaclavas in Europe and other parts of the world seem much more common than here in the US, hence the reason why I was surprised to see them so publicly yesterday.

            Originally posted by Kieth M. View Post
            I need to ask where you got your facts about LAPD banning them?
            I seem to remember reading this recently, that all LAPD officers' faces would now have to be visible so that if there was an incident, members of the public would be able to identify any officers about whom they had a complaint. I am not certain of this, however. It may be something one of my left-leaning fellow students told me.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Kieth M. View Post
              Tactical, yes. Camoulage, no.

              Aaronc, if you will check out the ads, in police equipment catalogs, for balaclavas; it will stress that they're flame redardent/resistant. Tactical teams may also deploy "flash-bang" devices which will send sparks and (perhaps) small rubber balls about the room. The masks will limit exposure to these irritants.

              .
              When I mentioned camo I was referring to situations where you want to be as invisible as you can as long as possible or necessary. Hostage rescue for example. When our ERT uses flash bangs we are wearing helmets with full face shields.

              Comment


              • #8
                the Nomex masks, like Keith said, are for flame/fire protection. They have little to do with being camouflage.
                Perseverate In Pugna

                Comment


                • #9
                  Also I didn't see it, but it could be for undercover officers involved in the operation.
                  "For he today who sheds his blood with me, shall be my brother" - Our Call to Arms

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    The flame retardant thing is the main reason, but I wear one during the dead of winter when on a foot beat or assigned to traffic duty, when it is bitter cold... Keeps my face from becoming numb, prevents frostbite.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I wear one when there is a bad snowstorm and im working but I always take care to identify myself to the public and my name is prominently displayed on my uniform. When deployed with our riot squad we wear the nomex fire retardant hood and there is no name displayed because of the fact that our cloth nametags are not fire retardant though the nomex fire suit is.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Our team always wore them. Some detectives that worked narco were on the team and it offered protection along with goggles for face protection.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I wear one simply because it's cool and I look like a superhero

                          Seriously I'v found that alot of folks don't realize that in most depts patrol guys make up the SWAT team, mine has full time but I'm part time, ride with SWAT gear in car and deploy if something happens.

                          You deal with some many terds on a routine basis, when I hit a house that has folks that I'v busted numerous times on the street, I prefer to cover my face for psycological reasons. It adds tremendous value to the shock and suprise factor when we hit the house. They stop trying to talk $hit like they would when dealing with an everyday officer, and figure the dept has brought out the big boys who stay in glass cases and the Sheriff has broken the glass and deployed his secret weapon. You generally get 120% compliance upon entry, not to mention it usually starts to smell in the house quickly cause everyone has shat their pants.

                          Another thing is folks generally dont' take it personal when you arrest them although they could, thats why we carry concealed most of the time. However, when you raid their house and scare the shat out of their family drag their wife from bed to the floor and round the kids up while checking their rooms with guns at the ready, that tends to leave an impression, and you just might get that one nut that takes that part really personally and now he's bonded out and he recognizes you while your in walmart with your family. For those reasons, I mask up also.
                          Ignored: Towncop, Pulicords, TacoMac, Ten08

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by aaronc View Post
                            I seem to remember reading this recently, that all LAPD officers' faces would now have to be visible so that if there was an incident, members of the public would be able to identify any officers about whom they had a complaint. I am not certain of this, however. It may be something one of my left-leaning fellow students told me.
                            I've never heard this... as a matter of fact, if you have tattoos on your face, LAPD policy dictates you have to keep it covered.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by aaronc View Post
                              I figured they were SWAT, but they weren't performing SWAT-like functions, at least from what I saw.

                              That then raises the question: why do SWAT wear balaclavas?
                              SWAT officers do more than smash down doors and throw flash bangs.

                              Generally they bring more and heavier fire power to dangerous situation and part of their jobs can be securing a large scene and preventing further attacks.

                              Comment

                              MR300x250 Tablet

                              Collapse

                              What's Going On

                              Collapse

                              There are currently 3597 users online. 201 members and 3396 guests.

                              Most users ever online was 26,947 at 07:36 PM on 12-29-2019.

                              Welcome Ad

                              Collapse
                              Working...
                              X