LESC Links February 18th 2010

Give Police a Seat at the Homeland Security Policy Table, Says Sheriff

Sheriff Lee Baca of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office wants a seat at the federal policymaking table when it comes to issues of protecting the homeland and fighting terrorism.

And that doesn’t just include policies that center around federal, state, tribal and local law enforcement issues. Police departments have a lot to contribute to the international fight against terrorism and should be able to participate in big picture strategy discussions that shape U.S. diplomacy and international relations, he said at a Heritage Foundation talk.  

“I’m not convinced that the federal government knows what to do with its police,” he said.

Police agencies can do a better job of combating extremism than armed forces, he said. Militaries are “blunt instruments.” They can eliminate a terrorist, but their weapons often kill bystanders, he added. That just begets more hatred toward the United States. Law enforcement officers, on the other hand, are skilled at investigations and know how to arrest a subject “without wiping out five other people,” he said.

I would say the Sheriff has hit on a big missing link to homeland security. I am just glad there is some others out there with eyes wide open. ~Fred

Keeping your less lethal options open

Deciding on the necessary force, and which weapon to use to deliver that force, is often a split-second decision for an officer. Whatever force you choose will eventually be scrutinized by your department, the courts, and the media. Having the most up-to-date training and instruction on less lethal options will better prepare you for any future confrontations. We must always be aware of our surroundings — including sizing up the suspects confronting us — and must never rule out (or be afraid to use) deadly force if that means protecting our lives or the lives of others.

Very good article on less lethal options to use in force decisions. Answers a lot of questions as to what tools are available, training and how to use. ~Fred

Criminal Insurgency in the Americas

Transnational criminal organizations and gangs are threatening state institutions throughout the Americas. In extreme circumstances, cartels, gangs or maras, drug trafficking organizations, and their paramilitary enforcers are waging de facto criminal insurgencies to free themselves from the influence of the state.

A wide variety of criminal gangs are waging war amongst themselves and against the state. Rampant criminal violence enabled by corruption and weak state institutions has allowed some criminal enterprises to develop virtual or parallel states. These contested or “temporary autonomous” zones create what theorist John Robb calls “hollow states” with areas where the legitimacy of the state is severely challenged. These fragile, sometimes lawless zones (or criminal enclaves) cover territory ranging from individual neighborhoods, favelas or colonias to entire cities—such as Ciudad Juaréz—to large segments of exurban terrain in Guatemala’s Petén province, and sparsely policed areas on the Atlantic Coast of Nicaragua.

As a consequence, the Americas are increasingly besieged by the violence and corrupting influences of criminal actors exploiting stateless territories (criminal enclaves and mafia-dominated municipalities) linked to the global criminal economy to build economic muscle and, potentially, political might.

Very interesting and thought provoking piece by John Sullivan on the evolution of criminal insurgencies and emerging threats. Are we prepared? Are we Ready? ~Fred

Texas parolee said he would have killed a cop

“If I'd have known it was going to happen then I'd have had a gun on me and shot my way out. That's what I would have did,” he was recorded as saying. “I would rather have shot it out with him and either killed him or killed myself."

Never lose sight of the adversaries mindset and intent. ~Fred

Ga. suspect apprehended in officer's killing

A 44-year-old Fairburn man has been taken into the Chattahoochee Hills Police Department for questioning in the fatal shooting of a Chattahoochee Hills police officer on Monday.