Sunday, September 14, 2014

When should SWAT be used?.

When is the appropriate time to use a Specials Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team? What do you think?

"Remember, SWAT teams originated as specialized units dedicated to defusing extremely sensitive, dangerous situations." (A Government of Wolves, N.Y., SelectBooks Inc. 2013, p. 65) Maybe I didn't even need that quote from this book. Many readers would have answered in a very similar way.

But how is SWAT used now? Even right in McHenry County?

Remember when six deputies showed up at a woman's house (in Island Lake, wasn't it?), because she had some unpaid fines at the McHenry County Courthouse? How does a Sheriff's Department get away with that ________ (fill in the blank here)? That happens when the wolf is in charge of the henhouse.

Was that an extremely sensitive situation? a dangerous one? Well, it was for the teen-age girl at home, while her mother was at work! One deputy could have gone to the house to search the warrant! Instead, six suited up in all their glorious gear and went "out to play". It's a wonder they didn't go there in the MARV!

In fact, one of the deputies even told me he could have served that warrant by himself. Better yet, a clerk could have called the woman to remind her that she had unpaid fines. How did the fines get overlooked? The paperwork was in the glove compartment of her car, when it was wrecked and towed away.

How many other times has SWAT been improperly used at the McHenry County Sheriff's Department in the past five years? Any? Many?

Consider this. If someone is pounding on your front door in the middle of the night and breaks down the door, are you going to start shooting when men (and women?) in dark clothing come busting into your home? SWAT doesn't always get the right house, you know.

Be glad you don't live in Indiana, where courts have said the cops are right, even if they get the wrong house - just because they are the cops. "In May 2011 the Indiana Supreme Court broadly ruled in Barnes v. State that people don't have the right to resist police officers who enter their homes illegally." (ibid., p. 18) Anybody else worried about that mindset among judges??? Could that decision creep into Illinois? Or into other states?

1 comment:

Big Daddy said...

Gus, I think you have that backwards. I believe the Indiana court ruled that a citizen COULD resist if the police were entering your home illegally. As far as when SWAT should ge used? Almost never and only under tightly controlled circumstances.