Don’t sentence our police to death

By Jeff Neithercutt

So many comments, so little time …

I grew up here. I know we live in a wonderful little bubble where the outside world seldom intrudes. But we are an educated lot, and I am ashamed of what I am seeing our leaders doing this week.

Calling an MRAP — a Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected vehicle — a tank is ignorance personified. Tanks are armored guns. MRAPs contain only defensive mechanisms. No guns, no way to fire back, only armor plating to protect the occupants. This type of vehicle, as used by police, is more accurately defined as an ARV, Armored Rescue Vehicle.

By definition, our police are a reactive force. Police do not invade your home, they come when you call them. Police do not hunt protesters, they come to protests to protect the protesters from the idiots who come to the protests bent on violent acts because they believe our leaders aren’t responding quickly enough to peaceful protests.

Even the Occupy protesters complained that outside attendees used their peaceful protest as a ploy to loot, attack police, vandalize innocent shop owners and demean the message the peaceful organizers hoped for.

So when police are called to react to a situation, they must respond, assess the threat, gather resources and attempt to protect all parties’ rights, even if that means taking insults from peacefully but vocally protesting citizens. Where it gets out of hand is when they start taking bottles filled with urine, or rocks or lighted road flares.

Do we expect them to just stand there and be injured? Why? Why would our leaders give the brave men and women at the Davis Police Department, who willingly go out every day wearing a big target on their backs for each and every one of us, a death sentence? That’s what it really is, folks.

If we return this defensive weapon, which is the only thing between the brave folks at DPD and some maniac with an AK-47, we are sentencing those officers to death. Their soft body armor will not even slow down the high-powered rounds being fired by almost every mass shooting suspect.

And we can all agree that after more than 300 rounds were fired, and 14 police vehicles were hit more than 10 times by high-powered weaponry in Stockton, it’s not a matter of if, people, but when.

Don’t send our officers to work with no way to defend themselves and us from the weapons of a madman. Don’t expect people bent on mass killings to quietly give up when presented with a reasonable argument from the hostage negotiator.

The studies already prove that mass shooters have only one goal: a high body count. Yours, mine, our children, they don’t care. They have weapons our police can’t stop, so if you expect a police vehicle to be able to roll onto a campus and rescue our children, you’d better hope it’s an ARV, because a regular cop car becomes a hearse when facing an AK-47.

Give the SWAT officers time to negotiate, give them a place to safely block the bullets of the madman while negotiations continue, rather than forcing them to kill the gunman as quickly as possible to save their own lives. Do not sentence our officers to death just because you think their ARV is ugly.

Shame on our City Council majority for sentencing our officers to great bodily injury and death just because they can’t stomach what is happening in every community around us. It’s coming here, folks, and I, for one, pray the Davis Police Department has an ARV when it gets here.

— Jeff Neithercutt is a Davis resident.

Special to The Enterprise

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