28 April 2010

On the list of things that should not have happened

A police force was featured on a show pitting "warriors" against each other in a mock computerized battle. (actually two of them, SWAT and the GSG9).

1) Police forces are trained in lethal force and this is a sad necessity, but the primary use of SWAT teams was intended to be, and doesn't appear to be in reality, peculiar tactical situations that may or may not require lethal force. They are not supposed to representative of the armies, special forces, or rampaging barbarians, who might be more commonly featured on a show like this.

2) GSG9 routinely wins at the international competitions for this one (there are apparently such things). I don't see why they bothered doing a show for it as a result (they don't win every year?). Except that the test/competition is probably something more like the actual mission of a SWAT team (hostage scenarios for example, maybe riot control at worst) and not fighting a running battle against a heavily armed and trained paramilitary organisation. In other words, American style SWAT teams are better at killing people (according to a "computer model" made for TV purposes). Wonder how that happened.

3) They have a taser that shoots out multiple rounds at once? Who thought that was even necessary?

4) In case you missed it, NPR had a brief bit over the weekend about the SWAT team guy who decided that the middle of high school field trip was a great place to set off a flashbang grenade. Deliberately. As a prank.

These are the people we send off to serve "high-risk warrants" all over the country?
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