Friday, April 25, 2008

Not Too Happy About This Whole UPD Thing

As I was walking home last night at about 4 am...yea I know. I looked at the new Hatchet and I stopped dead in my tracks when I read...UPD Chief Supports Arming Police. I am not only scared but kind of annoyed.

When walking on GW campus I feel pretty safe without UPD being armed because I honestly do not feel this school needs guns. Number one, when a party hears UPD is coming every kid takes off running and the whole problem of noise is solved and UPD did not need to use any force.

The line in the article just sounds scary
International Association for Campus Law Enforcement Administrators states that "sworn law enforcement agency … should have access to a range of force options including lethal (firearms)."
Not only this, but I feel sometimes school police instead of using the correct actions of detaining a student in a way where nobody gets hurt, will just rely on the weapon, not so much to shoot someone, but just the act of drawing it and saying to stop is something no 18-21 year old should not have to experience.

This whole situation reminds me of that "little" thing where the student in Florida was tasered for trying to ask a question??


Sam said...

Weak sauce. Does it make you uncomfortable that MPD officers carry guns? I assume not. Why then, would it make you scared that UPD's sworn officers would carry firearms? I believe that only includes 30ish of UPD's officers, the ones who wear dark blue shirts and carry police shields. They have all the training, expertise, and authority of an MPD officer, so I don't know why they can't be similarly armed.

The Florida taser incident has nothing to do with this debate.

Anonymous said...

If a police officer were to draw their weapon and point it at a subject for no reason or to intimidate them they would be fired and prosecuted.

Police have very specific use of force guidelines. It is in writing how they should move from spoken commands to use of force with less than lethal weapons and their bodies and finally lethal weapons.

Whenever they "break leather" (draw their weapon) it is a event that would probably require extensive documentation knowing GW and UPD. To draw and acquire a target when in a confrontation with a student would mean the officer has a reasonable belief that their life or the life of someone else is in imminent danger. This would mean that the student has a weapon or has attacked the officer in such a way that they feared they would be killed or seriously injured.

When an officer draws their weapon because they believe a situation could become dangerous or escalate like say when they approach a subject and they refuse to take their hands out of their pockets or during a traffic stop of a stolen vehicle they do this to be ready for an escalation of force. They keep the weapon pointed in a safe direction until their is justification to escalate then they acquire the target with their finger off the trigger only if their was a serious perceived threat would they put their finger on the trigger and possibly fire.

At GW the main reason for arming UPD is not because of interaction with students. UPD has extensive interaction with the Public around GW. This is when they face the most danger. Ask any MPD or Federal officer patrolling this area if they would do so unarmed and they would tell you you are crazy.

Many parts of UPD's SOP are based on the limitations of being unarmed. If there is an alarm at NIH Credit Union it goes to UPD since that is a university building but UPD will just set up a perimeter and wait for MPD since there is too much risk of a armed confrontation in a bank robbery. Similarly if their is an active shooter on campus they will have to wait for MPD. At any given time there may only be one MPD officer patrolling the Foggy Bottom area.

The student at UF was TASERed because he refused to comply and was resisting arrest. There is a reason you did not see any of those officers draw their firearm, the situation did not warrant that escalation of force.

Kirk said...

The student at UF was not resisting arrest.
If you watch the video, you can hear him begging to be let go because he wanted to leave. One can say whatever he/she pleases, but the evidence is there.

The fact of this matter -- as far as I can see it -- is as follows: more people (regardless of station) having guns is a bad thing.

WHP said...

statistics say otherwise. I have no problem with UPD being armed, so long as they are properly trained.

Anonymous said...

If the UF officers did not have TASERs they would have used OC spray or impact weapons and caused more hardship and injury to the subject and the crowd.
We will have to agree to disagree about the use of force at UF. The UF incident, however, is a straw-man argument in the debate over arming UPD. Firearms were not used in that incident.

"more people (regardless of station) having guns is a bad thing" Is quite the utopian argument. I bet if we all just threw or guns in the Potomac all crime would cease. Criminals do not follow the law and they are armed. The police need to be armed to keep us safe from criminals.

Patrick J. Ford said...

Get real...

Kirk said...

WHP, what do statistics say otherwise regarding?

Would statistics really say that ten guns isn't worse than five guns?
How could statistics even address that issue?

What I mean is: an armed UPD officer in the District of Columbia is not going to stop a school shooting. An armed UPD officer in the District of Columbia is only going to make the campus more hostile -- and I don't think it's hostile right now -- more tense, more fucked up.

What I also mean is: show me those statistics, WHP. Seriously, I want to know what you meant.

What I really mean is: I've seen what happened at UF, it was wholly unreasonable -- some think it was "within the bounds of the fair conduct policy set in motion by the Proctor General on April..." but that means nothing; the student's intent means nothing, so don't bring that up; any university action taken after the fact means next to nothing as well -- and reprehensible.
If that kind of shit happens when UPD has tasers, what would have happened to -- as much as I don't want to bring this up -- Casey Pond?

I don't agree with gwblogspot on this one, but I definitely don't agree with y'all commenters.

Sam said...

@Kirk: "More people (regardless of station) having guns is a bad thing" is obviously true, but it's also intensely impractical.

Society trusts cops to carry firearms. Simple as that. You're not offering much support for your argument other then you don't like guns. I don't like them either, but police need the tools to defend themselves and defend us.

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