City, Police, Host Community Discussion on MRAP, Community Policing

The discussion on the MRAP drew a large audience
The discussion on the MRAP drew a large audience

The MRAP (mine-resistant ambush protected vehicle) is on its way out of town next week, announced Davis Assistant Chief Darren Pytel at a community dialogue meeting on Thursday night at the Davis Senior Center. The meeting came together as part of the motion made by Mayor Pro Tem Robb Davis which directed the city to make plans on how best to dispose of the vehicle within sixty days as well as providing for community dialogue.

The meeting, facilitated by Judith MacBrine, was meant to help “develop a common understanding of community policing in Davis in light of emerging public safety challenges now being faced in the City.” It was also to “develop and practice skills necessary to engage in community dialogue rather than serial monologues.”

At one point there were 56 people in attendance, which included a number of police officers including Chief Landy Black and Assistant Chief Darren Pytel, as well as Mayor Pro Tem Robb Davis and Councilmember Brett Lee.

The citizens were a mix of people who had concerns about increasing crime trends and protection for police and citizens, to those concerned about the militarization of the police. Very few of these citizens were in attendance at the August meeting, where an overwhelming number of citizens asked for the city council to return the vehicle.

After a lengthy period of introductions, the citizens broke into groups of two and create a series of cards forming their impression of the vehicle, which were then groups into common categories.

MRAP-Storyboard

Assistant Chief Pytel then made a presentation that illustrated the police’s side of the MRAP story. Darren Pytel said that, before the acquisition of the MRAP, the Davis Police had no mobile armored protection. Access to an armored vehicle was limited, with a delayed response. The tactical team had access to an armored vehicle, but the equipment was outdated, limited and increasingly failing.

Moreover, budgetary constraints limited the ability to purchase a civilian model.

Assistant Chief Pytel explained, “The MRAP is a mine resistant armored vehicle, basically it’s ambush protection. So it’s rated to stop rifle rounds, high powered weaponry and explosives.”

For the Davis Police, if they had to use a SWAT team or do a raid, they would have armor protection. The soft-body armor that they have does not protect them from some of the rounds that they see.

The vehicle is about 20 feet long and 9 feet high and can fit a SWAT team of eight who can quickly deploy out of the rear of the vehicle. “Our plan was to do rapid exit from the vehicle when we needed to get close to a situation where we wanted to deploy our SWAT team.”

Assistant Chief Pytel gave the background on the vehicle. Lt. Glenn Glasgow came to him a few years ago and said that the military is giving away these vehicles, and at the time they were looking to replace the Peacekeeper that is owned by West Sacramento and shared by the mutual SWAT teams.

Assistant Chief Darren Pytel discusses the MRAP
Assistant Chief Darren Pytel discusses the MRAP

According to Lt. Glasgow, the SWAT team is averaging about eight deployments per year, for just the Davis-West Sacramento team.

The Peacekeeper was increasingly problematic in terms of mechanical problems and not being rated to take some of the weaponry now seen in Davis and Yolo County. “It just really didn’t suit some of the needs that we had,” Assistant Chief Pytel said.

Darren Pytel told the audience that he didn’t think the MRAP would fly in Davis, but after talking with his team, he became convinced it was necessary.

He said, why now? It has actually been in the works for a very long time, but the federal government works very slowly. In May of 2012 they started the process to get the vehicle.

After almost two years, the city finally got the MRAP through the federal 1033 Program in June, and it arrived in Davis in August. “Right after we got it, Ferguson happened,” he said.

The Davis Police have to operate under the same budget constraints as the rest of the city. He said he has been in management for 14 years, and “of the 14 years, there has been one year where we have not been asked to do a budget reduction list. 13 of the 14 years, our job has not been to grow the police department, it’s been to how do we do more with less and shrink the police department.”

He noted that we have fewer officers now than we did a few years ago. He said “we actually have decent tools and equipment” but described that they end up “scrounging and scraping to come up with what it is that they need.”

Assistant Chief Pytel said that the MRAP “really is a defensive type of vehicle. It has armor protection so you can move officers into an environment where firearms are present, and you don’t have to worry about getting hit. The MRAP will actually take care of all the rifles we encounter.”

He explained that the range of rifles are long and you cannot get in close to negotiation. “It actually does give us the ability to get in close. “

Assistant Chief Pytel explained that this vehicle, while it can be used as a rapid response vehicle, is not primarily a rapid response vehicle. “But generally you’re using it with a SWAT team as part of a planned deployment,” he said. “When we do that the team usually knows what’s going to happen sometimes a day before, two days before.”

He said, “It seems like two hours is pretty quick. But being the incident commander for a lot of incidents where you’re waiting two hours for SWAT team to arrive is forever because generally you’re holding the situation stable in Davis with five or six officers.”

He added, “So basically you’re taking care of a situation until the people with the better tools, better training, and the armor show up.”

The current armored vehicle has seen in 2009: eight activations, three deployments; 2010: 14 and 11; 2011: seven and five; 2012 eight and seven; 2013: six and five; and this year five activations and five deployments.

Assistant Chief Pytel argued that the dynamics of policing has changed with AB 109 and will do so even more with Prop. 47. Since 2010, felony arrests are up 105 percent. Drug related arrests are up 163 percent since 2010. Robberies are up 27 percent since 2010.

“So we’re dealing with more and more crime,” he said. “Keep reading the news and I think you will be seeing and reading a lot more about that in the coming years.”

He argued that, while there are positive areas of AB 109 and Prop. 47, “realize it’s going to take years to actually change the system to reduce recidivism… But we’re going to see a couple of rough years here, probably pretty soon.”

(It is important to note that crime in California overall has dropped, but it is not consistent. As the Public CEO reported yesterday, “Most of California’s counties saw lower crime rates in 2013, according to the latest data. Violent crime dropped in 41 out of the 58 counties, and property crime dropped in 37 counties.”).

Lt. Paul Doroshov illustrates weapons recovered by police in Davis
Lt. Paul Doroshov illustrates weapons recovered by police in Davis

Lt. Paul Doroshov spent some time illustrating guns that they find in Davis.

Finally, Assistant Chief Darren Pytel talked about the evolution of police tactics. He said, “So everyone thinks we use the armored vehicle to go in and bust through people’s houses. Actually not true.”

“We’ve gone from using dynamic entries, which is showing up real quick, jumping out of the car, busting through a door,” he said. Their new tactic is surround and call out – where the team is ready to go, surrounds the location, has a negotiator there and tells the party to come out.

He explained that they actually have a robot now. “We’re able to send in a robot to help us reach a door. The robot has a video camera on it and communication equipment so it can sit there and negotiate with the robot and never expose a person (to danger). “

They also can clear a room using the robot but the person operating the robot must be very close and likely sit in armor protection while this goes on.

No decisions were made on Thursday evening. It was an opportunity for the police to express why they felt such a vehicle was needed, and was therefore one-sided by design.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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66 Comments

  1. Tia Will

    The current armored vehicle has seen in 2009: 8 activations, 3 deployments; 2010: 14 and 11; 2011: 7 and 5; 2012 8 and 7; 2013: 6 and 5 and this year five activations and five deployments.”

    One point of clarification. My understanding is that these numbers include statistics from the joint West Sacramento and Davis teams, and are not indicative of the numbers for Davis which are much lower although I did not get the exact number. The majority of the activations and deployments were for incidents in West Sacramento.

    1. Matt Williams

      The 43 activations over 5 years number is identical to what Chief Black gave to me for the combined West Sac / Davis number.  He said that “about a quarter of those were to Davis”

    2. Edgar Wai

      The joint West Sacramento and Davis team deploys to both incidents in West Sac and Davis. The same people need a vehicle.

      I am not sure how you want to relate the incident ratio relate to the decision and discussion, because in some ways the fact that Davis only has 25% of the incidents contradicts the notion that City of Davis should return the MRAP. It would make more sense (but still not perfect sense, if City of West Sac decides to return the MRAP).

      Are you trying to say that if the SWAT should make sure that their headquarter is at West Sac and if they do get an armored vehicle it should be stationed in West Sac?

      Actually why does West Sac PD has apparently no concern over this issue? Is it because the SWAT headquarter is at Davis and the majority of the SWAT members are in Davis anyway, so that if they were to deploy they need a vehicle to get from Davis to West Sac, (since West Sac historically didn’t exist until recently)?

      1. Matt Williams

        Edgar, to the best of my knowledge the SWAT team has no true “home.”  It is a joint task force manned by police officers from both West Sacramento and Davis.  Neither city has enough SWAT activity (need?) to justify a free-standing SWAT team of their own.  I believe that the Yolo County Sheriff and the City of Woodland have a similar joint SWAT team.  The coverage area of the joint Davis/West Sac SWAT team covers the collective city limits of the two cities.  In order to minimize dispatch time to an incident requiring SWAT deployment, the resources that support the joint SWAT operations are housed in West Sacramento, because more of the incidents occur in the West Sacramento jurisdiction than occur in the Davis jurisdiction.

        Regarding your second paragraph, if as you suggest the SWAT team resources were relocated to Davis, then the response time for each incident in West Sacramento would be significantly increased … and overall average response time for all incidents in the joint jurisdiction would be increased.

        1. Edgar Wai

          I am not suggest relocating to Davis, but asking about the relation between DPD getting a MRAP and the joint SWAT. Was DPD getting a MRAP for “Davis” or for the joint SWAT?

          If it was for Davis, what was the combined plan for the SWAT? Was West Sac getting their own? Or whichever city got it first would share it?

  2. Tia Will

    It was an opportunity for the police to express why they felt such a vehicle was needed and therefore one-sided by design”

    And as a one sided exercise, it was very effective as a number of people in the room stated that they came in with little or no knowledge and left favoring keeping the armored vehicle. Since I went in with considerably more knowledge of the actions of our SWAT teams ( a number of people present were unaware that we even had SWAT teams ) and the kinds of weapons and situations that they encounter, I had a different take on the presentation. My take home lesson is that as a community we have been unaware of the relentless pressure on the police to cut their budget and to “do more with less” while having to deal with crime of a changing nature. I believe that the core issue is not MRAP or no MRAP, but how can we best ensure as a community that our police have the best equipment and optimal amount of personnel with which to do their job. Assistant Chief Pytel was very honest in noting that the MRAP is not the best vehicle for use in our community, that it had a number of constraints and situations in which a smaller more agile vehicle would be better, but this was decided upon essentially as better than nothing given the financial constraints.

    I plan to participate in as many of these community forums as possible as I believe that the kind of discussion that was held last night, had it occurred prior to acquisition would have resulted in a much more favorable outcome. At this point in time, I support the decision of our City Council to return the MRAP. More importantly, I support the realization of the police that a more proactive engagement of the City leadership and community at large would be a better route to take prior to a such a major acquisition in the future. I want to express my deep appreciation to all of the police officers who were there last night to engage with the community.

    1. Frankly

      The MRAP that was given to us for $0 was not the right vehicle, and so you support Assistant Chief Pytel’s point that a different smaller and more agile MRAP-type vehicle would be useful and we should spend $300,000 on it?

      Where is the logic to this type of thinking?

      I will keep repeating it… I sincerely hope that none of the people involved in the demand that we return this vehicle ever have to be held accountable for any harm to a police officer or a resident that could have otherwise been protected by the MRAP.

      1. Davis Progressive

        “I sincerely hope that none of the people involved in the demand that we return this vehicle ever have to be held accountable for any harm to a police officer or a resident that could have otherwise been protected by the MRAP.”

        i sincerely hope that none of the people who are in favor of allowing oil trains to continue to drive through davis get killed when one of them derails and explodes.

        1. Frankly

          The MRAP would be useful in that scenario… used to safely extract victims.

          But related to your concern about oil trains, thank the flip-flop-for-political-gain Democrats for doing their 180 degree turn to support the Keystone pipeline in a desperation attempt to get Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu reelected in the run off.

        2. Frankly

          Moderator – It is related because if the Keystone pipeline is built, there will be much less oil train traffic and hence less need for the utility of a safety vehicle with its own atmosphere.

          1. Don Shor

            [moderator] It is off topic. I didn’t pull it. I just prefer that this not detour into a debate about Keystone or national politics. Thanks.

        3. Matt Williams

          Frankly, it sounds like a very good topic for a future article.  “Your Choice, Keystone or the Oil Train”

          I suspect it would get lots of traffic and comments.

        1. Davis Progressive

          but that’s not a parallel example.  it would be more comparable to say, you’d like to buy a brand new bmw, but will settle for a used winnebago.  it kind of works but doesn’t fit the landscape you’d be using it in.

      2. Tia Will

        Frankly

        so you support Assistant Chief Pytel’s point that a different smaller and more agile MRAP-type vehicle would be useful and we should spend $300,000 on it?”

        Actually that is not my point. My point is that the police should have whatever it may be that provides the maximum amount of safety for the situations that the police envision. Assistant Chief Pytel stated that there were situations, such as extractions, for which the MRAP would not be the optimal vehicle. So is there is vehicle that better meets the needs of the department for which the MRAP would not be useful, then yes, that would be my position. If we are trying to optimally protect our citizens and our police, then they should have the best equipment for the job. And the price he quoted last night was nearer the $175,000 to $200,000 dollar range.

        I am also happy to explain to you the logic that I am using. As a former surgeon, I am keenly aware of the importance of having the right tool for the particular job at hand. I would be quite surprised if you would be satisfied if I explained to you that I was going to do your surgery not with the best surgical equipment because Kaiser wouldn’t let me buy the needed equipment but I did manage to get something similar left over from the military that they had previously used for different types of surgeries, and that they had had problems with , and although I had never used it before, I really think that I  have the bugs worked out and can make do with it for your case.

         

    2. Miwok

      Go Big or Go Home?

      I think the PD researched and best utilized their budget to leverage the best vehicle available at the lowest cost. The fact it is a compromise to what everybody would like to have, still means they got something to use that might have been more serviceable to protect lives, of the PD and the public.

      Now they might have to use their cars to protect themselves against weapons that will make Swiss Cheese of them. If they have to extract civilians from a situation, not having the armored vehicle might put them in more danger.

      To insult our intelligence with the spectre of daily incursions of the MRAP through Davis is humorous. Pretending criminals don’t exist in your town is a fallacy. To digress to why – well, some elected people are more interested in headlines to further their career selling air – well, that would be off topic.

  3. Davis Progressive

    i’m concerned about this presentation and what the organizers were expecting to get out of it.  nothing against pytel, but he’s got his point of view.  no one there to offer the other side?  everyone wants to hold up the dpd as some sort of model organization, but we see time and time again examples across the country where police forces overreact on bad information and end up coming in with multiple vehicles to situations where nothing is happening.

    frankly can talk all he wants about people being held accountable, is he willing to hold police accountable for their mistakes, because i’ve never seen any indication of that.

    1. Edgar Wai

      I don’t think having multiple vehicles on scene is over reacting. When an incident happens, the patrol cars are just on patrol looking for problems. When a problem occurs they go to where statistically has the highest chance that something would go bad.

      Each police officer cannot handle more than one suspect for safety reason. Arguably each officer can only handle 0.5 of a suspect. Each patrol car in Davis only has one officer. So if you have two suspects you would want 3 or 4 officers to be safe, and that means 3 or 4 patrol cars.

      1. Davis Progressive

        “I don’t think having multiple vehicles on scene is over reacting.”

        i didn’t say the fact that multiple vehicles would be on the scene was the overreaction

    2. Frankly

      The police are the experts in law enforcement.  Citizens like Tia know little to nothing.  And your experience in law enforcement is on the other side of the crime firewall.   Your perspective would be constrained and likely quite biased.

      Let’s let the experts make their case and demand that the uninformed go find something else useful to do.

      1. Davis Progressive

        “The police are the experts in law enforcement. ”

        the police are also biased and have one perspective.

        “Let’s let the experts make their case and demand that the uninformed go find something else useful to do.”

        there are experts on the other side that i’d like to hear from.

        1. Frankly

          by the “other side”, you mean the criminals?

          The police have a perspective that is based on real experience and practice of law enforcement.

          Attorneys have a perspective that is based on real experience and practice of providing legal advice and argument.

          Doctors have a perspective that is based on real experience and practice of providing health care.

          It seems you conveniently discount the experience and credentials of certain roles that you dislike, and then demand that everyone kowtow to other experts that support your worldview.  That is a bit hypocritical don’t you think?

           

        2. Davis Progressive

          are you intentionally being obtuse?  by the other side, i mean law enforcement experts who question the need of such vehicles, for instance we hire bob aaronson to oversee the police department, yet he’s been silent on this.  he certainly knows police operations as well as anyone.

          yes, police have “a perspective” and it has a basis.  but they are also not impartial here.  they’re going to err on the side of more things, just as the firefighters union is not exactly the best arbiter for our needs for fighting fires effectively.

        3. hpierce

          Whoa, Frankly… you seem to believe all police, attorneys, democrats, republicans, private sector folk, public sector folk are “monolithic” in their views, experiences, etc.  Good for you… makes the world simpler doesn’t it?

        4. Frankly

          Not the case hpierce.  I see the world through almost debilitating objectivity.  (I have been told that I can be objective to a fault).

          When the military says they need equipment and politicians and other inexperienced “experts” get involved, I side with the military.

          When my doctor says I need a procedure, I might consult with another doctor, but I don’t bring in non-experienced “experts” to help vet that decision.

          When the police say that they need an MRAP or something like it, are you saying we should accept the poorly groomed 50-year old perpetual college student that claimed the police are liars and just want a toy to harass residents with, and/or the OBGYN that sticks her nose into the issue?

          Don’t you agree that police know the job requirements for policing better than non-police?  If not I would love to get your explanation for how and why we should weigh the opinion of those lacking experience.

      2. Michelle Millet

        I’m going to go with Frankly on this one, and not just in regards to the MRAP. I love that Davis has such active community involvement, but I don’t like it when decisions are based solely on the outcrying’s of a vocal minority. At some point we need to trust in the experts and let them do their jobs.

    3. sisterhood

      I won’t go into details about my own mistreatment by local law enforcement since it happened several years back and my family and I are trying to heal. But I do not have faith that if the same situation happened again today, that law enforcement wouldn’t use excessive force in dealing with the situation. They are the hammers and all they see are nails, and all the d.a.’s see are political and career gains and cash for convictions.

        1. Tia Will

          BP

          Well, then you missed a major opportunity last night to hear directly from the police. There was also a police officer there last night with whom I spoke one on one who had a very different take from Michelle and Frankly. He was very forth coming about his feeling that the public did not ask enough questions and that he felt that we should be asking more, not less so that the police had a better handle on what the community concerns were.

          For those who were not there last night, it might also be informative to know that Assistant Chief Pytel had initially been against the MRAP because he himself did not feel it was the best fit for our community but despite his reservations came around largely because he knew there was not money for something more suitable.

          There will be more forums with more chances for all to learn and express opinions, unless you of course you are one of those who feel that your opinions should not count since you are not members of the police force.

           

           

  4. Frankly

    he willing to hold police accountable for their mistakes, because i’ve never seen any indication of that.

    You can’t see with your eyes closed.  Police are layered with scrutiny and accountability for their actions.  If a cop acts badly and harms someone, I support the law and protocol for inquiry and punishment to the full extent of the law.  I do not support cops being tried and convicted in the court of public opinion.  Because I think the public is generally ignorant of the job of policing and, like for the job of the military, the public conflates the safe and secure life with the state of society.  Their safe and secure life is provided by the men and women that enforce the law and provide our national defense and security.  It is often the most ugly work.

    But when has any anti-law enforcement activist been held accountable for the harm caused by their actions?

    1. Tia Will

      Frankly

      You have perhaps forgotten about the policeman who drank a number of beers and then participated in a pizza parlor brawl, which in the court of your opinion was just basically exercising his rights to have a few beers. Never mind the physical violence and ensuing destruction of property.

        1. Tia Will

          Frankly “I see the world through almost debilitating objectivity.” When I stopped smiling over this post, I looked up the potential meanings of objectivity that you could be alluding to. “impartiality, absence/lack of bias, absence/lack of prejudice, fairness, fair-mindedness, neutralityevenhandedness, justiceopen-mindedness,disinterestdetachmentdispassion, neutrality My question is, which of these meanings or synonyms do you believe applies to you ?

        2. Tia Will

          Off duty. But I cannot see how that matters. Would you think it was ok if I downed beers, drove my kids to a pizza parlor, physically attacked someone and caused damage to the pizza parlor just because I wasn’t on call that night ? If I don’t get a free pass for this kind of behavior, why does a police man.

  5. Anon

    What I want to know is what is the City Council going to do moving forward, to protect our police officers, now that the MRAP has been returned?  It is fine to have a community discussion, but that does not resolve the issue that police officers have no armored vehicle and firmly believe they need one.

    1. Davis Progressive

      the police officers have the same level of protection that they had before the mrap.  there have been zero incidents in davis that suggest the need to re-think that.

    2. Tia Will

      Anon

      The meeting last night per the ground rules established by the police and Mayor Pro Tem Davis who jointly organized the event was not for the purpose of suggesting solutions, but rather to give the police a forum to discuss their rationale and explain to the public the challenges that they are facing, to gather ideas from the community about the concerns of those participating and to use this conversation as a means for moving forward with future forums. I would strongly advise that anyone who has strong feelings about this issue make time in their schedule to attend one of these forums as I found it much more informative than the presentation given by Chief Black at the initial meeting before the City Council.

  6. CountyRoad

    I feel like the Council’s decision to return the MRAP was an overreaction to the article in the NY Times that called out Davis for having one of these vehicles.  Why should we care what the news media thinks?  So far, it seems like the police have made a very good factual case for keeping the MRAP, plus the cost to obtain the vehicle was negligible; while the Council’s decision has been about “image” and hypothetical overreach by law enforcement. The incidents at Royal Oaks mobile home park have shown that residents have in their possession weapons that can penetrate current police armor. For those who say we’ve had zero incidents in Davis, we shouldn’t have to wait for something tragic before equipping our officers properly. The police made the determination that we need the MRAP and I would go with their professional assessment.

  7. Davis Progressive

    “I feel like the Council’s decision to return the MRAP was an overreaction to the article in the NY Times that called out Davis for having one of these vehicles. ”

     

    except for one problem, the article in the NEW YORK TIMES came more than TWO WEEKS AFTER the council’s vote and praised them for it.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/14/us/police-armored-vehicle-is-unwelcome-in-california-college-town.html?_r=0

    try again please.

     

    1. CountyRoad

      The Council still had the opportunity to keep the vehicle post-article, but reaffirmed its previous decision.  The NY Times article does not praise the Council’s vote, but rather voiced opinions from the community.  Regardless, the article was timed around the same time as the Ferguson incident regarding police tactics.

      1. Davis Progressive

        no you said: “I feel like the Council’s decision to return the MRAP was an overreaction to the article in the NY Times that called out Davis for having one of these vehicles. ”

        the decision was made more than two weeks before the article came out.  it was not made in reaction to the article and you have no evidence to back you that they would have changed their mind but for the article.  give me a break.

        1. CountyRoad

          When the MRAP was featured in the Davis Enterprise articles, the reaction from Council members, specifically Dan Wolk, could be tied to the Ferguson incident, and reference was made to the NY Times.  The Council’s comments to media and their strong reaffirmation was clearly influenced by media attention.  Regardless, you are entitled to your opinion regarding the MRAP.  I believe the police made a good case for keeping it.

        2. Miwok

          Not sure how Mr Wolk tied the MRAP to the Ferguson incident, but was he equating Ferguson to Davis? I think the PD would be a little ruffled by being compared to Ferguson PD.

          Every major incident in Davis will now be compared to the wisdom of this action, and how the CC influenced the PD. With the recent Officer and Deputy shooting in two counties, they cannot even see how they might have been quick to judge?

        3. Frankly

          I think the PD would be a little ruffled by being compared to Ferguson PD.

          Maybe, but then the Davis and UCD police would have been surprised to be told that our city would have a pepper-spray “crisis” event too.

        4. Miwok

          Wasn’t gonna go there, because that is another instance of administrators meddling with law enforcement. Ex-Lt. Pike caused enough grief to UCD when he was in, before the pepper spray and they kept him on. 🙂

  8. Tia Will

    Frankly

    When my doctor says I need a procedure, I might consult with another doctor, but I don’t bring in non-experienced “experts” to help vet that decision.”

    Three points

    1. As for the second opinion from an expert, there is the testimony of former Police Chief Stambler whose testimony that his handling of the protest situation at the WTO protests in Seattle using a militarized civilian police force did not keep the peace, but rather resulted in much more volatile situation turning a peaceful demonstration into a violent one. He was very clear that the responsibility was his.

    2. What is you knew that the surgery was not the only alternative but that there might be other options. Would you not discuss the wisdom of having the surgery with your wife, or other trusted individuals who depending on the severity of your situation might council a trial of a conservative approach first ?

    3. The surgeon can express any opinion she likes. The decision is yours since it is your body. One thing that is being missed in this discussion is that the police are charged with protecting the community as well as remaining safe themselves. As such I think it is reasonable for the community to have some say in the manner in which they wish to be protected.

    1. Edgar Wai

      For the analogy to work, you would have to discuss include the dynamic where the entity requesting the change is someone who would be affected by lack of change.

      The main dynamic is that the police wants something to protect themselves so that they could do the job. The action that happened was that the city denied the police’s request. The question was whether that denial was justified.

      There are a lot of ethical questions in this situation, and every time someone forces a decision instead of letting people change their mind voluntarily, the problem compounds.

      From my perspective these are the major forces governing the situation:

      1. Normal citizens do not have what it takes to handle crimes by themselves or to enforce the laws that exist.

      2. The police was formed to handle crimes normal citizen cannot or do not want to handle, up to a limit. There are crimes that the police cannot handle either.

      3. Normal citizens do not know what problems the police faces or how they work (to fight crime)

      4. Because the normal citizens do not know what the police does, they do not know whether the police has too much or too little equipment or power.

      However we know these:

      a) If there is too much crime such that the normal citizens feel its effect on them, they would invest to offset that cost.

      b) If there are not enough crime such that the normal citizen do not feel any effect, they would invest less in policing to spend that resource in other ways that affect them more.

      Therefore, the power dynamics between the police and the citizens are balanced as long as the police can justify that they are doing the best with what they have. The police cannot take responsibility for handling all crimes. That result depends on the amount of resource the police gets.

      If the Swambulance breakes down and the SWAT cannot deploy, by now that is not a problem of the police. That is a problem of the City. The need was already communicated, and the City chose not to spend resource on that. So that is the new level of service the City wants the police to provide.

  9. Tia Will

    Frankly

    I see the world through almost debilitating objectivity.”

    When I stopped smiling over this post, I looked up the potential meanings of objectivity that you could be alluding to.

    “impartiality, absence/lack of bias, absence/lack of prejudice, fairness, fair-mindedness, neutralityevenhandedness, justiceopen-mindedness,disinterestdetachmentdispassion, neutrality

    My question is, which of these meanings or synonyms do you believe applies to you ?

    1. South of Davis

      Tia wrote:

      > When I stopped smiling over this post, I looked

      > up the potential meanings of objectivity

      If Frankly had a tagline it would read:

      Frankly is Objective just like Fox is Fair and Balanced…

      1. Frankly

        Ha!

        Well… Fair and Balanced is a subjective determination.   Compared to what?  Seriously, if Fox News is not not fair and balanced, is there any TV news source that you consider fair and balanced?

    2. Frankly

      LOL. My first thought is that I can objectively see how you and others would find the comment humorous coming from me.  But let’s just say that my blogging isn’t always an exercise in demonstrating an objective thought process… because I have already done that thinking and come to an objective conclusion.  Unless someone tells me something new… something I have not heard before that changes the story, I don’t revisit the thought process.  Objectivity from my perspective is the weighing of the pros and cons based on the hard facts… and yes, that includes the facts concerning how people feel… as a criteria, but generally not a primary one.

  10. South of Davis

    Tia wrote:

    > As such I think it is reasonable for the community

    > to have some say in the manner in which they wish

    > to be protected.

    Bullet proof vests replaced after each “use” and every few years are sent to landfils (assuming they don’r float in to the delta and add to the plastic and kevlar floating in the Pacific).

    If it is “reasonable” to ban single “use” plastic bags in town why not also ban single “use” bullet proof vests in town?

    P.S. I’m against the MRAP since I think it is a waste of money and we will never use it, but I have no problem if the cops want to pay for and maintain a MRAP with their own money (just like many cops pay for and maintain their own guns and body armor)…

  11. Tia Will

    Maybe, but then the Davis and UCD police would have been surprised to be told that our city would have a pepper-spray “crisis” event too.”

    Precisely. And the inability of some to foresee what could possibly go wrong with having the MRAP clearly illustrates one of the concerns that have been expressed.

    1. Miwok

      In the much investigated and well documented investigations of the pepper spray incident, it was pointed out that even though the Police Chief was there she was not in charge, and not even in uniform. She did warn against the action to the Administration, but her department went ahead at the request (threat) of the Chancellor.

      The PD was not confronted in any way physically, but they escalated with illegal weapons and tactics. Lawyers and judges have spoke on this and are on the record. Some local agencies would NOT participate. Others took off their insignia, and goons from UC Berkeley were added to the mix.

      I point this out because the MRAP does not have any offensive weapons. Antagonizing criminals used to be a deterrent, now we have to respect their “feelings” as they rob and kill? I respect your opinions, Tia, many are well put. I just like to point out these important exceptions to the rules.

      Do you feel making the PD more of a target in these times is a goal? There are only so many things to use as cover when people are shooting at you. Thankfully it does not happen often, as documented in this story.

      1. Tia Will

        Miwok

        Do you feel making the PD more of a target in these times is a goal? “

        If you have been following my posts, I believe that you will have already seen that my goal is not to make a target of anyone. I believe that I have stated very clearly that the safety of everyone concerned would be my goal, whether civilian or police. I simply do not see this as some apparently do as a black and white, good guys vs bad guys issue. Administrators and police are capable of making mistakes in judgement as I have provided examples of in multiple previous posts. Two brief examples :

        1. The WTO protests in Seattle in which the police chief took full responsibility for having turned a peaceful protest into a violent confrontation by the heavy handed, militaristic approach taken by the police.

        2. The pepper spray incident in which poor administrative judgement was compounded by just as poor police oversight and judgement.

        My position has always been that the police are entitled to protection as are all citizens of the community. There is not even unanimity amongst the police that the MRAP was the best decision ( but rather the financially expedient one) as Assistant Chief Pytel pointed out last night. I am also strongly in favor of primary prevention as opposed to acute crisis management. I feel that a combined approach with many more resources being put into crime prevention, gun control, mental health, substance abuse prevention and yes, a community appropriate armored vehicle ( not a military reject) if necessary would be a much better approach. If what the police actually need is increased funding so that they can afford the appropriate equipment, then we as the citizens they are attempting to protect should be willing to increase their budget accordingly. I believe that the issue of community and police safety should be seen holistically and that this is what the community and our city leaders should be taking on, not the issue of MRAP vs no MRAP in isolation.

         

  12. Tia Will

    Antagonizing criminals used to be a deterrent”

    Antagonizing and intimidation are two edged swords. Deterrence is certainly one possible outcome. Provocation of more violence is another possible outcome as the WTO protest demonstrated. For me this is not a matter of coddling criminals or respecting their feelings which I actually do not care about in the slightest. What it is about for me is what will be the most effective strategy using the most effective equipment. I do not believe that the police have demonstrated that the MRAP is the best piece of equipment for our setting. And now I know that this is not just my opinion. It is also the opinion of the police who felt they had no better alternative. I believe it is up to us to provide them with that better alternative.

    1. Edgar Wai

      I think the simplest way to solve this is still buying a BearCat. If the BearCat is $300K and Davis only uses it 25%, the cost for Davis would be $75K. That is a little over $1 per person.

      To close the accountability loop, the criminals should be the ones paying for the BearCat if we do get one. So there should be some kind of laws that allows the police to charge the offender to cover the cost of having a BearCat if their offend triggered the deployment.

      If the BearCat will last 20 years, and each year Davis gets 8 incidents, the fee for each deployment would be $469. Just charge that to the criminal and we are all good.

  13. Tia Will

    Edgar

    By that accounting, we could bill the criminals an even $500 and make a small profit on the BearCat. That should make our fiscal conservatives very happy. If the majority of arrests are drug related, the criminals will doubtless have the money to pay.

  14. Edgar Wai

    The law would be clear that the collected money goes back to the City, who buys the BearCat for the police, not the police itself. So that the fee does not add incentive for the police to have mission creep and use the BearCat for marginal reasons.

    I think this balancing is good. And we are “lucky” that we are dealing with a situation where people are at fault and can be made accountable, unlike other public safety costs where there is either no person at fault (e.g. natural disasters) or the person accountable cannot be identified (e.g. hit and run).

  15. Tia Will

    Frankly

    the OBGYN that sticks her nose into the issue?

    Don’t you agree that police know the job requirements for policing better than non-police?  If not I would love to get your explanation for how and why we should weigh the opinion of those lacking experience.”

    These are interesting comments coming from someone who had no difficulty “sticking his nose” into a recent controversial public health issue. You were quite willing to express your opinion with regard to the water fluoridation issue without any special knowledge of this area of personal or public health. I did not hear you attempting to downplay the input of those with no health care expertise.

    Nor did you hear me attempting to silence or detract from your input. For someone who claims to respect the foundations of the freedoms that we enjoy in this country, including the right to speak freely on issues of importance to us, you are quite quick to criticize the usage of that right when you are not in agreement with the opinion being expressed. I wonder if this also could not be considered hypocritical as you challenged another poster earlier.

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