Sunday, April 26, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Trust our police to use MRAP responsibly

By
From page A4 | August 26, 2014 |

By David Stubbins

Recent events in Ferguson, Mo., and concern about militarization of the police came to Davis with the arrival of a Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected armored vehicle. It was acquired by the Davis Police Department through a program run by the Defense Logistics Agency that transfers military hardware to local law enforcement agencies.

One assumes that the City Council requires departments to receive its approval prior to accepting donations, so the acquisition should not have come as a surprise. Nevertheless, there are questions that can and should be addressed to Chief Landy Black and the Davis Police Department regarding the MRAP. They include a statement about how and when the vehicle will be used, and an estimate of the costs associated with its maintenance.

The larger policy issue regarding the advisability of military campaigns that require purchasing quantities of these kinds of vehicles for troop protection is an important but separate matter.

There are pros and cons to police departments having armored vehicles, much of which turns on how and when they are used. I for one would be troubled if the department’s MRAP was “deployed” in a Picnic Day or Fourth of July parade; used as a prop at a police booth at the Farmers Market; used in a way that disrupts the peace of neighborhoods; or, most problematically, to oversee political demonstrations. Military ordnance and political protest are an unsavory mix.

Ideally, the MRAP will evolve into a piece of equipment that is out of mind because it is not a part of routine policing in Davis.

We should not lose sight of the fact that there are about 18,000 law enforcement agencies in the United States, and they are not all the same with regard to competence, integrity, respect for the rights of citizens and the regard with which they are held by the communities they serve.

Some have a unitary response style to all situations, are lacking in flexibility and resourcefulness, and behave like an occupying army, having adopted an us-versus-them stance toward citizens. These are organizations in which militarization already has occurred, made only worse by access to military hardware.

Davis, on the other hand, has a good police department with strong, responsible and responsive leadership. It would be wrong to conclude that acquisition of a piece of military technology will cause it to lose its way.

Importantly, why does the Davis Police Department even need an armored vehicle? Simply because the it-could-never-happen-in-Davis incident could happen here, as it has in all too many communities. Tactical vehicles provide mobile cover for officers and afford a platform from which to work. Notwithstanding what is seen in movies, patrol cars do not provide much protection against bullets.

The MRAP would allow officers to get close to where they are needed, whether that be to rescue someone injured during an incident involving gunfire, allowing teams to approach under cover in a school active-shooter situation, or to be used in certain kinds of barricaded hostage confrontations.

Should such an incident ever occur in Davis, citizens would want their police officers to have the tactical equipment that would serve to most quickly bring the encounter to conclusion with the least risk to citizens and officers.

Having an armored vehicle at its disposal for use in rare, high-impact situations — and only in those situations — does not preclude police officers from having regular, cordial and respectful face-to-face interactions with the citizens they serve.

The Davis Police Department is ours. Just as officers are responsible for protecting us, we have a responsibility to do what we can to protect them.

— David Stubbins is a Davis resident.

Comments

comments

Special to The Enterprise

.

News

 
Davis team wins world robotics championship

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
 
Nepal quake death toll exceeds 1,800

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

Spring storm delivers late rain, snow to Northern California

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
At the Pond: Plenty of pleasures in our bioregion

By Jean Jackman | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Free Family Bike Clinic set Sunday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Pioneering organic chef presents her memoir Monday

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

Suspect in UCD assault arrested

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A4

 
Dog park marks anniversary with cleanup

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

Rail-safety bill passes Senate committee

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
Watch them in action

By Julia Ann Easley | From Page: A5

Stocks rise on tech earnings; Nasdaq adds to record

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

 
Dodd speaks as part of public policy series

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

We did it (together)!

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A10

 
$2.72 million judgment ordered against Dollar Tree Stores

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

UCD hosts bike auction Saturday, May 2

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11 | Gallery

 
Fly Fishers to hear about advanced streamer tactics on Tuesday

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11 | Gallery

Bicycle activist will speak Monday at Hall of Fame

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11 | Gallery

 
.

Forum

Those texts still linger

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B6

 
New ways of giving locally and beyond

By Marion Franck | From Page: B6

 
Study questions accuracy of tumor gene mapping

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

Poker proceeds help youths

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A12

 
Invest in water of the future

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A12

Water, water everywhere?

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A12

 
Mayor’s Corner: A spirit of renewal permeates Davis

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A12

More work to do for a safe Picnic Day

By Our View | From Page: A12

 
Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A12

 
Anaheim, where The Force is with you

By Sebastian Onate | From Page: A13 | Gallery

.

Sports

Davis gets two baseball wins in two days

By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1

 
Grizzlies dominate young Blue Devils on Senior Night

By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Energy, fan-friendly happenings highlight UCD spring football game

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Blue Devil golfers capture CAL Invitational title

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

Blue Devil swimmers are up to the challenge

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
UCD roundup: Aggies reach water polo semifinals

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2

Babich brings the heat as DHS girls stick it to Oak Ridge

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B12 | Gallery

 
DHS softball struggles continue against Sheldon

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B12 | Gallery

.

Features

.

Arts

History comes alive in ‘The Sacramento Picture’

By Derrick Bang | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
.

Business

Yolo County real estate sales

By Zoe Juanitas | From Page: A7

 
Big Italian food, sports bar to fill Little Prague

By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: A7 | Gallery

Davis Roots hires new general manager

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

 
Comcast announces speed upgrade

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

 
.

Obituaries

 
Whitney Joy Engler

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

Valente Forrest Dolcini

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

 
.

Comics

Comics: Sunday, April 26, 2015

By Creator | From Page: B8