This is a recent comment on my entry, militarization of the police.

The reason SWAT officers wear shoulder protectors is because when we are shot, about 15% of the time the rounds come from the side and through the shoulder. Among many other shootings, a specific incident in Cobb County, Georgia, prompted SWAT officers to begin wearing shoulder protection after two SWAT officers were killed by shotgun pellets through their shoulders. Since then, shoulder protectors have saved a lot of SWAT officer’s lives.

Your observations on SWAT and the so-called “militarization” of the police [a horribly incorrect term] are both misinformed and misguided. I hate to say it but it sounds as if though you have been reading too much Peter Kraska, a source that has been discredited and challenged by other PhD’s in his own field. Frankly, I expected more from someone with your background. You wrote that, “police officers are supposed to be public servants, serving the greater good.” That is exactly what SWAT does. While there have certainly been mishaps involving SWAT teams, there have been many more mishaps involving doctors, pilots, architects, and the U.S. military that led to the deaths of innocent people. It is an absolute fact that SWAT de-escalates situations that regular patrol cannot handle. It is also a fact that in the overwhelming majority of SWAT operations, no one is hurt or killed and the law is followed to the letter. I have neither the time nor the inclination to argue with you about your blog entry here but please allow me to assure you that the coverage we are seeing on T.V. is not a realistic depiction of SWAT any more than what CNN shows is a realistic depiction of what is really happening with the common soldier on the ground in Iraq.

I think it’s a good comment and it deserves a response. I’ll post one tomorrow. For now…discuss.