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“This is not about militarizing the Boston Police Department. This is about realism. This is about giving police the firepower they need when they and the public are at the mercy of someone with high-powered weapons, which any nut or terrorist can buy, which, incidentally, is a subject far more important than whether cops have too many weapons.” – Kevin Cullen in Worries about militarizing police are misplaced [via]


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  1. Gotta love how they can’t resist subtly suggesting an AWB is a good idea but cops should get a carve out.

    Terrorists will get guns if they want them. Numerous attacks in Europe prove that. When the religion of peace has access to someone with a decent education they have that person build a bomb, and statistically that’s usually more effective than a gun in terms of body count.

    Then again, driving a truck through a crowd caused more casualties, fatal and non fatal, than any mass shooting ever has.

    • Poorly trained and stupid, those guys need to play army on their own time or nut up and do the real thing. Coming from an 0331 OIF/OEF vet and newish Texas state trooper

    • Yeah Tom. That Boston Proud thing was cool…until I saw pictures like that AND found out that an observant homeowner, not one of the hundreds of police, found the hiding terrorist. After that, it was more like martial law theater. Now I hate seeing the Boston Proud shirts.

    • That’s Boston’s PD freak out over the Boston bombers. You know where the whole force put Boston on lock down and shit on citizens fourth amendment. Where it all ended when a citizen grabbing a smoke noticed his boat cover had blood on it and made the call. The result was a helicopter with IR cameras confirming someone was in the boat and the ground crew filling it full of bullet holes. Then the Boston Police department congratulated themselves on the outstanding job terrorizing the population.

      • You forgot the part about how the “high powered weaponry” the guy had was a nearly empty 9 mm. [I never did understand how filling that boat full of holes was a justified shoot, but maybe its just me. If it was, why then the police ought to recreate that scene from “The Gauntlet” every time they go to raid a house.]

        • The First Rule of COP Fight Club is, if you shoot at cops, or try to kill cops with something, you’re going to die when they catch you.

          Anything else is just bad for business.

    • There’s so much wrong with that pic, even beyond the pointing a weapon at someone taking a photo.
      Magnified optic at 20 yards? He just lost all his situational awareness.
      No helmet and nametape defilade, parked in an urban environment with elevated positions around him? This guy is begging to take the first round. Amateur.
      Take note BPD, this guy is going to be great at finding sniper positions, but you can only use him once.

      • Just put a helmet on him for the rest of the times. He’s a Hot Charlie the first time, and a Cold Charlie after that.

      • They aren’t amateurs. They just know that the actual threat level is not there.

        Fatigues, APCs etc are for the show. It’s like paintball, but you get to carry real guns around (and occasionally even shoot them at people). Best of all, the government pays you for that.

  2. funny how they left out the part where “military style assault weapons” can be stolen from police or even just flat out lost

  3. “This is not about militarizing the Boston Police Department. This is about realism.”

    Exactly, that’s why the American people are doing the same thing.

    • Yep. Being prepared for real life situations is only for the police/govt. We’re supposed to live in a gum drop, sugar plum forest fantasy land, where bad things and bad people don’t exist and the police will show up to take a bullet for you.

      • Even with military gear and tactics, cops, with full-on bad-guy in-the-works, cannot even keep themselves from getting hurt or dead (the Dallas PD didn’t just sh_t that bomb delivery robot after they lost a few).

        But hey, give the cops the benefit of the doubt right?

        • I am amazed that more people haven’t commented on the police using a robot to kill that piece of shit. You would think there would have outrage over it. If they can deploy robots to execute him, who else will they be using them against? And who authorizes their use under what circumstances?

        • I can’t believe more people do not see it as an automatic escalation in force for everyone. Bad guys are going to do bot-wars with the Po-Po, what’s to stop them from flipping their Wall-E on you? Better have somebody come back from the future to save you (sad, it might be someone that sleeps with your mom).

          I see the future more like “Hardware” (1990) than the Terminator.

  4. Tom in Oregon: “Isn’t it amazing what they can do with “photoshop?” Pay no attention to what appear to be the men in uniform, they’re not rally there, and only appear to help, like they did in New Orleans for Katrina”

  5. A militarized police is in all respects like a standing army within each community, the very thing the Founding Fathers stood in fear of and made every attempt to prevent. They also understood that should they be unable to prevent such an outcome the people needed to have their natural and civil right to keep and bear arms Constitutionally protected against the government and its standing army/militarized police.

    • The more I think about it, the more I see the wisdom behind banning a standing army — even standing armies in the form of paid local police.

      A paid police force is a really bad idea because their paychecks are their primary driver. That means they will do pretty much anything that their employer — the ruling class — tells them to do. That is the real reason why so many paid law enforcement officers/agents default to “I was following orders”, “I was enforcing the law”, and “Let the lawyers and courts sort it out.” What those statements really mean is, “I don’t want to jeopardize my paycheck … thus I refuse to stand up for what is right and will pass the blame on to the ruling class.”

      Volunteer “police” on the other hand (e.g. the militia or a local posse) would not have primary loyalty to the ruling class. Rather, they would have primary loyalty to themselves, their families, and their communities. The result: you would see these local volunteers come together and act swiftly for REAL threats to the community such as a rapist or murderer. What volunteer “police” would NOT be in a hurry to do is enforce arbitrary laws and hunt down the perpetrators of victimless crimes. Under such a system, there would be no one to enforce the myriad asinine firearm laws aimed at good people who have no intention of attacking anyone.

      • The only problem with this is that the persons going after the criminals would not be properly trained to investigate and prosecute. You would essentially have lynch mobs at times. That’s all fine and good until someone decides to believe that you murdered the victim and comes after you with the posse without evidence. The police do more than just write tickets and lock up drug users. The really serious stuff is too important to be left up to volunteers.

      • We should go back to having a sheriff (and a few trained detectives) who rely on the people to aid them in the event that they actually need a lot of firepower. It would fix pretty much everything wrong with our police departments and significantly lower the burden on taxpayers as well.

      • >> The result: you would see these local volunteers come together and act swiftly for REAL threats to the community such as a rapist or murderer.

        Or, say, someone whom they found out (or decided) was gay, because they’re convinced that all gays are pedophiles.

        Or a black guy whom a white girl accused of looking at her “lustily”.

        Volunteer posses do vigilante justice, which is incompatible with the rule of law. They can be an element of the overall strategy, provided that they’re kept in check. But you still need some element to keep them in check – and the only way you can check a bunch of people with guns is by having more people with guns.

    • Not in Massachusetts….Local/State police are in absolute control over a MA Residents 2nd amendment rights…Because Massachusetts is a “licensing state” for everything, and can NOT purchase any firearms, or ammo without a FID(low capacity longarms.), or LTC (Pistol/Revolver-RESTRICTED-might issue- with constitutional waviers, and other local police clauses!) Which of course requires multiple-local/state police permissions, safety course “roadblocks”, etc…. So, I certainly don’t hold any support for LEO in Massachusetts until there is serious reform! Such as, removing local/police infringement upon 2nd amendment liberties, and at least converting Massachusetts gun laws to an “indifferent waiting period ,or instant check” state that other Americans in our country enjoy……Police accountability, and a full independent civilian review boards to oversee it…..

  6. “Worries about militarizing police are misplaced”

    Well I can tell you who is not worried about militarizing the police: the ruling class who give the police their marching orders.

  7. Boston Strong! Social conditioning to cheerlead while a disarmed populace is forced from their homes at gunpoint by militarized police.

  8. Boston, MA the same state where AG Healey just banned almost all semiauto rifles from citizens. Take guns from citizens give more to the state. These people have an evil agenda. Dems say cops target black men, but want to give cops more guns and take away plain Jane citizens ability to defend themselves. They lack the ability for rational thought.

  9. “This is not about terrorism. This is about realism. This is about allowing citizens to keep and bear the firepower they need when they are at the mercy of a tyrannical government, which any nut or Democrat will vote for, which, incidentally, is a subject far more important than whether citizens have too many weapons.”

    There. FIFY

  10. Kevin Cullen did a fine job of proving you can put a Turd Sandwich in a 24 carat gold sandwich box, and still only have a Turd Sandwich in a 24 carat gold sandwich box.
    Such is the pathetic state of Opinion Journalism in the aspiring Progressive Totalitarian State.

  11. I do think that there is a time and a place for SWAT teams, etc. For example, when serving murder warrants. See this a bit on The First 48 Hours, where specialized (typically U.S. Marshals) units are called in for arresting murder suspects. There, overwhelming force is advantageous. But, thanks to the misbegotten War on Drugs, every small town these days seems to have their own SWAT team, with automatic weapons, etc. And, they use them for stuff where their overwhelming force is not needed, but rather causes more deaths and injuries (esp. to family dogs) than they probably prevent.

  12. Dumbass op-ed writer misses the point as usual. Police militarization is far more than just the freebie surplus weapons given to the BPD via the 1033 program.

  13. Hang on — the email notification showed this as the post:

    “”Let’s be clear here. There’s been a lot of exaggerated, heated rhetoric around all this. Boston cops are not going to be walking around the streets holding rifles like an occupying force. There will be a finite number of rifles, maybe a few dozen, under the control of patrol supervisors, who will deploy them only….”

    Is this going to be standard TTAG practice now, emailing one thing but posting another?

    • We reserve the right to edit articles after they’ve been published. Sometimes because a post needs work, sometimes because a commentator points out an error and sometimes for brevity.

      In this case, I cut the first paragraph because it didn’t really add anything. The RSS and Facebook links went out before the edit. And there you have it. Or, in this case, not.

  14. “when they and the public are at the mercy of someone with high-powered weapons, which any nut or terrorist can buy,”

    This in a state where for the past 50 year you have needed a discretionary state license to POSSESS or BUY any type of gun, never mind to carry one.

    So you’re saying that all Massachusetts’ fancy-ass “best in the nation” gun control just doesn’t WORK, Kevin?

  15. Since the justification for the weapons for police officers is self-defense while conducting law enforcement actions, there is no need for them to have any weapons in addition to those deemed suitable for other civilians to use for self defense.

    Same objective, same tool. Arguably, police have some advantages not available to other civilians like continuous contact with support etc. Subsidized training and practice

  16. Statist talking head misses the point as usual. Police militarization is about far more than the BPD getting freebie surplus firearms through the 1033 program.

  17. Living in MA I am quite familiar with the liberal rag that is the Boston globe. So when Cullen says “any nut or terrorist” what he means is “anyone that would want a gun, or terrorist.” Believe me, around here you are NOT allowed to use the word “nut” to refer to someone with mental or behavioral problems. Just another liberal d bag.

  18. These people splurging out over an AR being ‘firepower’ and ‘high-powered’ have never seen a howitzer, I guess.

  19. If anything, police should be held to a higher standard than that of the public…As it stands now, police can commit crimes with impunity because, in most situations, they investigate themselves…Behavior that would get an ordinary citizen charged, convicted and incarcerated is routinely ignored by “the powers that be” because police are considered to be “above the law” as the “law” is whatever they say it is, the Constitution be damned…
    Ever notice that police unions are “fraternal”? This should tell you something. The “thin-blue-line” is a gang, little different than street gangs–at least when it comes to “covering-up” their questionable and quite often, illegal and criminal behavior.
    In today’s day and age, “officer safety” trumps de-escalation of force. This, in part, is due to the militarization of the police along with training in Israeli police tactics. This becomes a problem, with the “us vs. them” attitude that is fosters, along with the fact that Israel is a very different place, being on a constant “war footing”, and by necessity, its police tactics are very different.
    There are too many instances of police being “given a pass”, even when incontrovertible video and audio evidence is presented. Grand juries, guided by police-friendly prosecutors, quite often refuse to charge those police officers who abuse their authority.
    Police officers, who want to do the right thing, are quite often marginalized and put into harms way, by their own brethren…When a police officer is beating on someone that is already restrained while yelling, “stop resisting” THAT is but one reason police have a “bad name” in many instances…this makes the “good cops” who are standing around, witnessing their “brethren in blue” beating on a restrained suspect, culpable as well…
    Here are changes that can help reduce police-induced violence:
    1. Get rid of police unions. Police unions (fraternities) protect the guilty, and are responsible for the massive whitewashing of questionable police behavior that is presently being committed.
    2. Eliminate both “absolute” and “qualified” immunity for all public officials. This includes, prosecutors and judges, police and firefighters, code enforcement and child protective services officials, and others who deal with the citizenry. The threat of being sued personally would encourage them to behave themselves. Require police officers to be “bonded” by an insurance company, with their own funds. No bond= no job.
    3. Any public funds disbursed to citizens as a result of police misconduct should come out of police pension funds–NOT from the taxpayers.
    4. Regular drug-testing of police officers as well as incident-based drug testing should take place whenever an officer is involved in a violent situation with a citizen–no exceptions.
    5. Testing for steroid use should be a part of the drug testing program. You know damn well, many police officers “bulk up” with the “help” of steroids. Steroids also affect users mentally as well, making them more aggressive. The potential for abuse of citizens increases greatly with steroid use.
    6. Internal affairs should only be used for disagreements between individual officers–NOT for investigations involving citizen abuse. State-level investigations should be mandatory for all suspected abuses involving citizens.
    7. Prosecutors should be charged with malfeasance IF any evidence implicating police officer misconduct is not presented to the grand jury.
    8. A national or state-by-state database of abusive individuals who should NEVER be allowed to perform police work should be established–a “blacklist” of abusive (former) police officers.
    9. Most people are unaware that police have special “rules” that prohibit them from being questioned for 48 hours. This allows them to “get their stories straight” and makes it easier to “cover up” bad police behavior. Police must be subject to the same laws as civilians.
    10. All police should be required to wear bodycams and utilize dashcams that cannot be turned off. Any police officers who causes a dash or body cam to be turned off should be summarily fired–no excuses. Today’s body and dash cams are reliable enough to withstand harsh treatment. Body and dashcam footage should be uploaded to a public channel “on the cloud” for public perusal.
    11. All interrogations must be video and audio recorded. Police should be prohibited from lying or fabricating stories in order to get suspects to confess. False confessions ARE a problem in many departments. Unknown to most people, police can lie with impunity while civilians can be charged with lying to police…fair? I think not…
    12. Any legislation passed that restricts the rights of ordinary citizens, such as firearms magazine capacity limits, types of weapons allowed, or restrictive concealed-carry laws should apply equally to police. No special exemptions to be given to police. Laws must be equally applied.
    Police work is not inherently dangerous…there are many other professions that are much more dangerous.
    A little “Andy Taylor” could go a long way in allaying fears that citizens have of police.
    That being said, I have no problem with police officers who do their job in a fair, conscientious manner…however, it is time to call to task those police officers who only “protect and serve” themselves.

  20. The “thin blue line” protects the bad cops. My relatives who are cops cannot understand my dislike for many “practices” that they consider “normal”. Attempts to engage them in Constitutional principles are met with deaf ears. THE LAW IS WHATEVER THEY SAY THE LAW IS.
    Their unwavering allegiance to those (bad) cops who exhibit “abnormal” life-threatening behavior (to us mundanes) and their “making excuses” for such aberrant behavior is sickening.
    You see, all police officers’ ultimate goal is to make it to retirement with as little friction as possible. In many departments, it is possible to retire after 30 years AND to start collecting Social Security at age 55–NOT 66 like the rest of us. In addition, disability claims (too many career lifetime donuts) quite often enable them to live a much more comfortable life than most of us taxpayers who provide these “centurions” with their comfortable lifestyle.
    Police work is not inherently dangerous IF they follow Constitutional principles.
    The militarization of police forces is another big problem. Police departments routinely recruit former military and do very little to change the “us vs. them” mindset that is a staple of military (combat) service.
    In fact, most department actually admire their “special” status and encourage such behavior with “no-knock” midnight SWAT raids and other unconstitutional behavior.
    A small point (but valid, nevertheless) is that EVEN THE NAZIS KNOCKED ON THE DOOR BEFORE GAINING ENTRY.

  21. There is much angst and consternation against prosecutors and grand juries who refuse to bring charges against police officers, even when incontrovertible evidence is presented. Even with incontrovertible audio and video evidence, prosecutors are loath to prosecute rogue law enforcement personnel.
    Let’s examine the reasons why it is so difficult to prosecute thug cops:
    Most prosecutors are former police officers or have extensive dealings with police departments and have ongoing relationships with police departments in their respective jurisdictions. They are friendly with the judges in their jurisdictions, as well. This, along with “absolute immunity” makes it easy for them to “cover up” police abuses and behavior. Prosecutors cannot be sued for malfeasance…it takes a judge (who prosecutors are friendly with) to bring charges on a rogue prosecutor (which almost never happens).
    In addition, prosecutors guide the actions of grand juries. Prosecutors are not required to introduce any evidence to grand juries, (can and do) easily “whitewash” the actions of rogue cops. On the other hand, prosecutors can (and often do) go after honest citizens who seek justice outside official channels…prosecutors have ultimate power and are not afraid to use it…their immunity sees to that.
    Another aspect to a grand jury’s inability to prosecute bad cops is the fear of retribution…cops drive around all day, have nothing but time, have access to various databases, and can easily get the names and addresses of grand jurors…this, in itself can be a powerful deterrent against grand jurors who “want to do the right thing” and prosecute bad cops. There are many cases of cops parking in front of grand jurors’ residences, following them around, and threaten to issue citations to them, in order to “convince” them to “make the right decision”…the “thin blue line” at its worst…
    The whole system has to change.
    No police agency can be allowed to investigate itself. Internal affairs departments must be restricted to minor in-house investigations of behavior between cops. All investigations must be handled by outside agencies, preferably at the state level.
    Civilian police review boards must be free of police influence. Members of civilian review boards must have NO ties to police departments. Relatives of police would be prohibited from serving…Recently, the “supreme court” threw police another “bone”. The court ruled that police are not responsible for their actions if they are “ignorant of the law”…now, let’s get this straight–honest citizens cannot use “ignorance of the law” as an excuse, but cops can??

  22. Its not just about the weapons, you need to keep in mind is that federalizing local police departments can happen in minutes thanks to the centralized response tools and policies put in place over the last 15 years. In addition, metropolitan police departments have trained in these tools and policies to be able to work within a system where orders and response instructions come from a nationalized command structure all under the auspices of a terrorist attack or national emergency…scary stuff when you think about the possibilities for a system like this to be abused.

  23. Some of these comments are spot on! As a New Englander @ Andy in Ma. , Both of us know the horror that is Massachusetts. Massachusetts has always been a haven for high crime, high taxes, political/police corruption, and, now sanctuary cities/and towns….For the Unconstitutional infringements against the 2nd amendment…Go to GOAL.ORG ….


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