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Utah police agencies address 'militarization' questions

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  • Meckofahess Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 15, 2014 7:30 p.m.

    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
    Aug. 15, 2014 7:59 p.m.

    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
    Aug. 16, 2014 2:37 a.m.

    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
    Aug. 16, 2014 6:01 a.m.

    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
    Aug. 16, 2014 7:14 a.m.

    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
    Aug. 16, 2014 7:15 a.m.

    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
    Aug. 16, 2014 7:39 a.m.

    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
    Aug. 16, 2014 8:37 a.m.

    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
    Aug. 16, 2014 9:14 a.m.

    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
    Aug. 16, 2014 9:39 a.m.

    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
    Aug. 16, 2014 9:41 a.m.

    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
    Aug. 16, 2014 9:42 a.m.

    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
    Aug. 16, 2014 9:49 a.m.

    "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
    Aug. 16, 2014 9:50 a.m.

    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
    Aug. 16, 2014 10:18 a.m.

    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
    Aug. 16, 2014 10:21 a.m.

    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
    Aug. 16, 2014 10:33 a.m.

    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
    Aug. 16, 2014 10:46 a.m.

    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
    Aug. 16, 2014 11:02 a.m.

    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
    Aug. 16, 2014 11:49 a.m.

    @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.

  • 100%TruePAtriot cincinnati, OH
    Aug. 16, 2014 12:20 p.m.

    The sheriff said it would be a "rescue-oriented" vehicle used in conjunction with the fire department in situations, for instance, where someone is shooting at people.

    Shooting people = fighting back against the cops by shooting at THEM.

    The police are our domestic 'standing army'. This must stop immediately!

    Police do not need sharp shooters, tanks, apv's, MACHINE GUNS, etc.
    They have sound cannons that can disable people if need be (or even kill them if necessary).

    We the people are in deep doo-doo if we do not abolish all law enforcement and go back to the intent of the forefathers...

  • Crusader Layton, UT
    Aug. 16, 2014 1:16 p.m.

    The boys in blue have new toys. In my experience when I get a new tool I look for an excuse to use it.

  • Moderate Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 16, 2014 1:50 p.m.

    I've seen numerous comments from past and current military personnel echoing the same sentiment "The police in Ferguson Missouri have more body armor and weapons than I did when patrolling Iraq... Afghanistan... Bosnia..."

    Several military members commented that they rarely raised their weapons while on patrol. They were appalled to see the police pointing sniper rifles at the crowds. If we are going to give the police big toys, it is vital that we provide the training on properly using these weapons.

  • JBT Provo, UT
    Aug. 16, 2014 2:09 p.m.

    seems like a lot of complaining about how 'poorly' Law Enforcement is handling things now days.. Or how they're doing everything wrong, or how they're becoming 'too militarized'.. How about giving suggestions on how they should be handling violent people, or violent groups? How should cops deal with a well equipped gang with rifles and automatic weapons?? How should cops deal with domestic terrorists? How should they deal with someone who is actively killing children at school or killing people at a local mall? Some of you have said let the National Guard handle it? You want people with Zero Law Enforcement experience, people who only train for War, to come in and deal with local crimes? Some of you need to get out of the bubble you live in and recognize that there are violent people here in Utah, and around the country that want to kill. And, sometimes, the only way to defeat violence is with with greater violence.

  • hermounts Pleasanton, CA
    Aug. 16, 2014 2:51 p.m.

    If you don't want the police to come down on you like an army, don't start a riot

  • FDRfan Sugar City, ID
    Aug. 16, 2014 4:21 p.m.

    I'm really disappointed that people can't see what is happening. Urban black teenagers don't want a strong police force so they can man handle store owners and take what they want. The black on black crime is the result of getting police out of the way. Teenage boys who were raised by teenage mothers have never been disciplined and are not going to take it now. Further handcuffing our police will only see the crime rates soar. And spread.

  • Greenshadow PLEASANT GROVE, UT
    Aug. 16, 2014 4:28 p.m.

    Could someone please help me understand the value of traditional military camouflage in an urban riot setting? Camo is supposed to disguise soldiers in trees, bushes and other natural environments, so I would think they would want to redesign it using shades of gray and black. But it seems to me police on riot duty would want to be seen, so why use camo at all?

    Let me make it clear that I don't support the current trend of police militarization, but I'm just trying to point out one several inappropriate aspects of the military approach.

  • OneAmerican Idaho Falls, ID
    Aug. 16, 2014 6:01 p.m.

    Having them available can create an underlying thought process of looking for an opportunity to use such equipment. Having said that, when the top law enforcement officer of the US is constantly thumbing his nose at the constitution and the rule of law, it's not too far behind when the masses will take the same attitude. If the president (whose constitutional duty it is to enforce the law whether he likes it or not) can say, "I don't like this one, I'm going to act unilaterally and ignore it," then the citizens he pretends to lead will begin to do the same.

  • rawlshea1 salt lake city, UT
    Aug. 16, 2014 6:48 p.m.

    Regrettably, the only remaining visible legacy of 9/11 in every American community is a militarized local and state police force. Salt Lake City and Salt Lake County are lucky to have to informed, sensitive and strong law enforcement chiefs, Chris Burbank and Jim Winder could teach several of their piers how to be effective, local law enforcement. They don't watch too much television or movies, but instead stay in touch with their communities.

  • terra nova Park City, UT
    Aug. 16, 2014 9:40 p.m.

    Cops are not the National Guard. Don't train or treat them as if they are the Guard.

  • John Locke Ivins, , UT
    Aug. 16, 2014 9:48 p.m.

    People will use any diversion to rob, steal and loot. What you can't earn by your own sweat of the brow, steal, or if your welfare check is not big enough, steal. Stealing is still one of the Ten Commandments telling us what we should not do.

    So, we need weak people to stand and watch those who steal, and those honest business people with everything in their financial lives to lose, while those who have no protection against it but the guns they own, will suffer. And, if they do shoot someone who is looting their business, make certain of that person's race.

    Soon, the guns we own will be taken away, and we will live in the days of the survival of the fittest; or anarchy.

  • Bomar Roberts, ID
    Aug. 16, 2014 10:32 p.m.

    There have been instances in Utah that reek of overreach. As one commenter mentioned, the suspected marijuana grower could have been arrested at work. There was no apparent reason the WVC police gunned down the young lady, who the cops suspected of buying drugs and the Branch Davidian Compound in Texas was completely without merit. David Koresh frequented businesses in town and could have been arrested there. Janet Reno should have done the "Perp Walk" for that.