Wednesday, February 12, 2014

All Hail the Police State, Michael Bane Edition

I'm a fan of the Michael Bane Podcast and today's episode was particular topical.  He discusses the increasing prevalence of using SWAT teams in a dynamic entry (kicking in doors and using concussion grenades) for mundane warrants is putting officers at risk.  I agree.

Peace officers should be focused on deescalation and resolving conflict peacefully.  When they arm up with machine guns and grenades and break windows and kick in doors they are bringing violence to a peaceful situation.  They are choosing to escalate the violence rather than pacify it.  Any instructor will tell you that as the violence level escalates, officers are at risk.  It certainly puts civilians at risk.

I've had an intruder in my home.  I was able to resolve the situation without violence.  However, if that intruder has burst into my home in a violent manner instead of coming in quietly, my response would have been quite different.  I would have responded with force.  Instead, I was awoken by my dog and had a moment to gather my thoughts and investigate.  If I was startled awake by violence, it increases the chance I will respond with violence.  It's human nature, hard-wired in us.

I hope police re-evaluate their focus on militarization.  We are all citizens here.  We aren't enemies.  Treating us that way increases the chance we will adapt to be enemies- in that scenario everyone loses.

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