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Local departments add military vehicles,gear at no cost

Published: Tue, August 19, 2014 @ 12:05 a.m.

Authorities get surplus equipment for variety of uses at no cost


The BAE Caiman sits in a Boardman Township shed waiting to be outfitted by the township police department. The $737,000 vehicle was obtained through the Law Enforcement Support Office at no cost.

By Peter H. Milliken




In the aftermath of unrest in Ferguson, Mo., and complaints about the “militarization” of police, area law-enforcement departments also have received free military-surplus vehicles and equipment.

But Valley police authorities reject the notion that local police forces are being militarized.

“A lot of this stuff is not being employed or deployed in a military fashion. ... A lot of this stuff is being used in a utility fashion,” said John Elberty, commander of the Mahoning Valley Crisis Response Team.

The Mahoning County Sheriff’s Office has received all-terrain military vehicles, a pickup truck, a van, a sport utility vehicle and one M-16 military rifle from the Department of Defense.

The rifle can be set to be used either as a semiautomatic or automatic weapon.

Law-enforcement officers are permitted to carry fully automatic rifles only after proper training, said Maj. William Cappabianca.

One of the Humvees was used for road patrol during heavy snowstorms during the past two winters, Cappabianca said.

The SUV is used to transport guns and ammunition to the firing range; the pickup truck and van are used in the day-reporting inmate work detail program; and the M-16 is assigned to the road-patrol division.

“Thank God, we’ve never had to use it,” Cappabianca said of the rifle.

The sheriff’s office has requested up to 30 more free M-16s from the DOD, but is still awaiting word as to whether that request will be granted, Cappabianca said.

The sheriff’s office would like the additional rifles so one can be placed in each patrol cruiser, Cappabianca said.

“It shoots [farther], and it’s more accurate” than shotguns, which are being phased out, the major said.

“I’d rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it,” he said of the M-16.

Among the other surplus items the sheriff’s office has acquired free from the Defense Department are three safety and rescue kits, 104 empty military field bags, four digital cameras assigned to the detective and information technology divisions, 19 pairs of cold-weather gloves and 72 pairs of thermal underwear.

The county emergency management agency has not received any military-surplus items within the past five years, said Dennis O’Hara, EMA director.

Youngstown Police Chief Robin Lees said his department has about a dozen military-surplus assault rifles and some ballistic vests, but for the most part the department does not have a lot of military equipment.

The assault rifles are not carried by officers but are stored at the police department in case they are ever needed, Lees said.

Elberty, also a detective sergeant with Youngstown police, said the crisis response team obtained a BAE Caiman, a Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle or MRAP. It was obtained through the Law Enforcement Support Office, and Boardman police also received a Caiman through the same office.

Austintown Detective Sgt. Shawn Hevener handles the military-surplus purchases for the township. He explained the Law Enforcement Support Office is sponsored by the DOD. “It’s a good source for law-enforcement agencies that want to save on their budget,” he said.

He added all agencies receiving equipment or vehicles from the LESO are required to maintain the parts, but can outfit them however they see fit. When departments no longer see a need with having something, they can put it back into the surplus system.

Both MRAPs are stored at a Boardman Township shed and neither has been outfitted for its intended use. The value of a Caiman is $737,000, and the sticker was still on one of the vehicles.

Elberty said both vehicles came by flatbed truck from Texas in April. He added, “We’re going to also kind of use it as a hardened bunker, command post and sit in there with negotiators and technical support.”

Boardman Police Chief Jack Nichols said the department plans to outfit the Caiman with emergency lights, seats to hold about 25 people and a new paint job, which will happen in the winter.

The new vehicle came at no cost.

Nichols said, “It was my understanding that if local law enforcement didn’t take them, they would just cut them up [and scrap them].”

The Caiman is much larger than Boardman’s black armored truck that was donated in 2011 by Brinks, a company known for transporting cash between banks.

The department also has six Humvees through the military surplus, which are primarily used for transporting equipment and people, such as officers going to a practice gun range. Nichols said officers usually go about three times a year.

Nichols said the MRAP would be used if there was an active-shooter scenario at a hospital, school or a shopping mall.

“This vehicle would put probably 25 people in the back of it and keep them safe. No bullets would be able to go through it,” Nichols said.

He did acknowledge the growing national concern over militarization of local police departments. “It’s nice to know it’s there, but I don’t foresee it being seen patrolling the streets of Boardman or anything. That’s not what it is for,” Nichols said.

“There’s really not a single negative about it — just the idea that it’s there and it can only help,” Nichols said.

Elberty said some people that have been involved with standoffs have told police once the vehicle moved out front, they decided to give up.

“When that moves in, they kind of say, ‘I think I’m done with this.’”

Elberty said the CRT also has a Humvee and a trailer. That Humvee can be used for going to off-road marijuana-growing operations to transport authorities there, Elberty said.

The Austintown Police Department obtained two Humvees, one for their department and another one for the fire department, through the LESO.

The Austintown Fire Department spent $9,000 to outfit a 1992 Humvee for its needs, and area businesses donated services and time to help keep costs down. It will be used for search-and-rescue operations and brush fires.

Austintown Fire Chief Andy Frost III said the department handles about 30 brush fires a year and an additional 10 calls for EMS and rescue calls off paved roads. The new Humvee replaces two Jeeps that the department has been using for decades — a 1964 Jeep that was purchased from the Howland Fire Department in the 1980s and a 1966 Jeep.

Frost said the cost could have been between $90,000 to $120,000. “We know we can’t afford to purchase new equipment, so we have to make this equipment last as long as possible,” he said.

Austintown police Capt. Bryan Kloss said the department’s vehicle is being used the same way as Boardman’s: to transport equipment to a range. Hevener said they have used the LESO for other equipment in the past, but now the only item from the military surplus is the Humvee.

Austintown police haven’t spent any money to outfit the vehicle.

“We’re not going to spend the money to paint it. We’re just going to use it as is, as far as I know,” Kloss said.

Contributor: Reporter Joe Gorman.


1bcdevellin(8 comments)posted 1 month, 1 week ago

In my opinion its money that could have been spent to really help people in our area. This extra equipment seems a little overkill to me. I respect and appreciate all that our local law enforcement do, and feel safe as is.

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2ufosd(17 comments)posted 1 month, 1 week ago

This process may seem innocent enough at the moment, and with all of the gangs we hear of coming across our border at present may even justify it even more,. The process still has the look of something sinister and should we watched closely by those who are concerned about the movement away from constitutional governance. Since the Patriot Act we have noticed a large drift toward a heavy handed policing in our neighborhoods and country as a whole.

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3Photoman(1004 comments)posted 1 month, 1 week ago

It sure does seem innocent and wonderful, doesn't it? And it's all free!
But wait, doesn't everything we've ever gotten "for free" from our government always ultimately end up with government imposing demands upon us at a later date? Perhaps maybe just a "smidgen" of freedom?

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4WarrenRicheyKid(167 comments)posted 1 month, 1 week ago

The police need to get out of their patrol cars and walk a foot patrol. When they don't know the residents in the neighborhoods they patrol, they make all kinds of mistakes--some of them fatal. We really need to get back to the old foot beat patrols. We need Officer Friendly, not Officer Armageddon.

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5YtownParent(325 comments)posted 1 month, 1 week ago

The only problem with Police having and utilizing this equipment is accountability. That is easily solved by placing cameras and mics in every vehicle, but the police unions have fought against it. Until the cops willingly make their actions completely transparent, citizens can and should exercise their rights to record officers on their own cameras, cell phones, etc.

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6YtownParent(325 comments)posted 1 month, 1 week ago

What part of "is sponsored by the Department of Defense" don't you understand @Chessiedad? None of this equipment is "FREE". Taxpayers bought and paid for it all through Congress's military spending. Wait a minute, I'm wrong. We taxpayers didn't buy and pay for it, we borrowed money and put ourselves in debt to buy it for military purposes when we didn't need it. If the military had needed to purchase the stuff, it would be in use by the military not being given away and/or scrapped. It's just another bloated, wasteful government entitlement program. They only difference between it and EBT cards, Liar Care, etc. is who gets the goods.

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7theguins(169 comments)posted 1 month, 1 week ago

If we borrowed money and put ourselves in debt. Then why not our local authorities put it to use in their departments. If you don't break the law you don't have to worry about them using it on you...

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8YtownParent(325 comments)posted 1 month, 1 week ago

"If we borrowed money and put ourselves in debt. Then why not our local authorities put it to use in their departments?" Because it is against the law for the military to police our citizens. Lest you forget, we declared our independence form England and fought not one, but two wars against them (The American Revolution & The War of 1812) because we didn't want military actions taken against our populace. If local police want to skirt the law, then they are no different then any drug dealing gang-banger or terrorist despot.

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9steivo(540 comments)posted 1 month, 1 week ago

Maybe we should take all guns out of the hands of the police, then we wouldn't have to worry about them shooting any criminals. The policemen could just yell stop to the criminals and then tackle them and subdue them. Then after the criminals were arrested, the police should apologize to them if they were hurt in he arrest process.

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10steivo(540 comments)posted 1 month, 1 week ago

This whole thread is left wing extremists run amok. What in earth is wrong with the police having better equipment than the criminals.

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11YtownParent(325 comments)posted 1 month, 1 week ago

"don't call them when you're in trouble. Call a taxpayer instead". You hit the nail right on the head @tafy. The local police forces are made up of officers who do not live in the cities they police and are not paying taxes in those cities either. The whole point of calling the police is that you are calling a fellow taxpaying citizen of the community you live in. Not anymore.

Again. Police officers are not the military. They are civilians. Any officer who acts like a soldier is breaking the law and is just as worthless to society as any other criminal. If you don't like it then you can move to a police state like Russia or China where you'll be more happy.

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12steivo(540 comments)posted 1 month, 1 week ago

Well, I would rather trust the police and have them armed to the teeth.

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13YtownParent(325 comments)posted 1 month, 1 week ago

"No trouble, no cops!" is overly simplifying it. But I'll give you the baseline of staying out of trouble means not breaking the law. The same goes for the police. If they don't want treated like criminals, then they shouldn't break the law like criminals.

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14bunkpatrol(87 comments)posted 1 month, 1 week ago

Plenty of dictatorships and banana republic coups would love to have you serving in their ranks, then, jerk.

But when you give up the rest of your freedoms, don't forget they'll behead you for talking about their president like you do ours.

All you fraidy cats and your popo and guns. You'll choke on antacids before you need the help of an MRAP.

So much for small government you hypocrites...wasted
$700,000 is by no means free.

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15bunkpatrol(87 comments)posted 1 month, 1 week ago

That wasn't aimed at you YTP. Sometimes the timing of comments posted on this site is way off....

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16steivo(540 comments)posted 1 month, 1 week ago

A banana republic would be a vast improvement over the administration of this Liar.

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17YtownParent(325 comments)posted 1 month, 1 week ago

No posting here is "anti-police". The post have all been anti-criminal. Some posters realize that a cop who breaks the law is a criminal.

As for any arguments that it is needed equipment for the officers protection, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund's (www.nleomf.org) published reports, officer deaths have been steadily declining and deaths by shootings have fallen so much that cars killed more cops than guns. If you are sincerely concerned about the safety of officers@Chessiedad then cops should have cars that contain seatbelts & they should be required to use them. If you want to double or triple the fine for not moving over when and officer has another vehicle pulled over, I'm all for it. I'm not for cops using totalitarian tactics and you shouldn't be either because sooner or later you'll be the only one left to subdue.

As for your ride along idea, thankfully it's going to be a long wait until that opportunity arises. In Y-town, it has been 13 years since an officer was shot and killed in the line of duty. Of the 5 officers that were killed on duty in the past 50 years in Y-town 3 were by vehicles only 2 by guns. Outside of Youngstown, you have to go back to 1927 to find an officer killed by gunfire in Mahaoning county. All the others were by cars or health (aka heart attacks). By all means look at the YPD web page as well as the Officer Down page (odmp.org) and fact check me. Or just go along spewing the same hyperbole and propaganda that Stalin, Sadaam, Quadifi, et al. churned out to justify their tyranny.

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18NBees(44 comments)posted 1 month, 1 week ago

We are Americans... the psychological implications of military equipment to be used against Americans on American soil runs cross grain with everything America is supposed to be. Sure, some people may back down, give up when they see a show of military strength force. Others will be outraged, especially if military equipment is brought to events where Americans are exercising their constitutional rights of peaceful assembly and/or protest.

As for re-purposing military vehicles for off road search and rescue or to help fight brush fires, that is an excellent idea.

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19steivo(540 comments)posted 1 month, 1 week ago

This is just so typical of the left wing extremists. Cut military spending and spend billions and billions of dollars on food stamps, welfare, Liar Care, and any other free handouts they can think of, yet as soon as we do something that is of benefit to the average taxpaying citizen like improving the police force, they are opposed.

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20walter_sobchak(1912 comments)posted 1 month, 1 week ago

This is all about extremes. We ask police officers to enforce the laws, arrest criminals, keep the streets safe AND return to their families safely at the end of their shift. As our "culture" has progressed over the years, the police have had to go from gangsters using pistols to organized gangs using weapons of war. It is absolutely necessary to resist a force with a greater force to prevail so we must provide law enforcement with the proper tools. It is quite possible that an MRAP could be necessary to quell a serious disturbance like in Ferguson, but these instances are not common in the US. If we can re-purpose it for use as a glorified ATV, it could make sense. Otherwise, wouldn't it be better for just one MRAP to be used on a county-wide basis and shared by the various law enforcement entities? Each police force can share the vehicle for training purposes but the unit could held by the sheriff. However, police work is best done on a community basis where the officers know their citizens, have contact with them, and use appropriate measures to enforce laws. Making the police force a quasi-military group is not very wise as it hints of military dictatorship. The power rests with the people and is given by them to the government. We are not to be lorded over!

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21YtownParent(325 comments)posted 1 month, 1 week ago

@Chessiedad. First, I apologize for overlooking Officer Richard Becker. It wasn't intentional, I just forgot Poland Twp. when checking data, as the site lists death by individual departments & not counties. I provided the specific means to be fact checked because I know I am only human & subject to making errors, whether leaving out a department or in my math. I gave you the tools to correct any mistakes I made, so my data was not skewed. Cops should be responsible & humble enough to admit their imperfections too, instead of acting infallible.

Second, you overlooked the sarcasm in seatbelt comments. It is the law & police officers are supposed to be wearing safety belts too, as well as not texting while driving.

Third. I never said I was ok with any President's, Congress's, or government agent's abuses. This discussion is about local police departments being outfitted & deployed in the same manner as a military platoon. But just to clarify, The Patriot Act was awful when Bush was President. I was against it then because his predecessors could/would just expand the abuse. Obama proved I was right. Regardless of who becomes the next President, you can bet they'll make Obama's abuses look like Bush's. All the other abuses are just as foul. Republicans haven't challenged them in court & stopped them in their tracks because they want to keep those powers for themselves. The Democrats never challenged Bush or Reagan for the same reason.

There is a giant difference between "protective gear" like body armor, helmets & shields and offense weapons like machine guns. I might be able to stomach it if every officer was honest and forthright, but that is not the case. Check out the stats on police misconduct (http://www.policemisconduct.net/stati...). Please by all means provide any additional data I might not have found. Cops are humans and they are subject to falling prey to greed and power trips just like the rest of us. Too many use that equipment for their own gain. Too many departments and citizens excuse or overlook illegal police activity. Giving bad cops free reign with no oversight places good honest cops lives in danger. Unfortunately, the Robert Lodwicks of the police forces are more prevalent than the Officer Hartzells.

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22steivo(540 comments)posted 1 month, 1 week ago

If the criminals can have machine guns, why on earth should the police not have machine guns. Too many citizens overlook the criminals and blame the police for the actions of the criminals.

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23steivo(540 comments)posted 1 month, 1 week ago

Here is an excerpt from Norco, California:
"The suspects pulled far ahead of the pursuing police officers and stopped to ambush them as they caught up. Officer James Evans, one of the first police units to come under attack during the ambush, was shot in the head and killed. The police, armed with only .38-caliber revolvers and 12-gauge shotguns, were out-gunned.
There was a guy arrested just recently in Youngstown with an AK-47. Why should he have an AK-47 and the police have just handguns?

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24steivo(540 comments)posted 1 month, 1 week ago

COLLINSVILLE, Ala. — Federal and state agents arrested six men and seized an arsenal of homemade hand grenades and firearms in raids Thursday, including one that forced the shutdown of a school.

Agents recovered 130 hand grenades, a grenade launcher, about 70 hand grenades rigged to be fired from a rifle, a machine gun, a short-barrel shotgun, 2,500 rounds of ammunition, explosives components, stolen fireworks and other items, said Jim Cavanaugh, regional head of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

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25bunkpatrol(87 comments)posted 1 month, 1 week ago


You sure know a lot about strangers you don't agree with.

Your posts are based on assumptions and fallacious arguments that have basis in emotion and not fact.

You attack posters rather than their statements.

I have seen the likes of you and have empathy for your struggles. But I won't continue discussion with you because you are obviously very personally attached to this matter and are unable to consider points of view objectively.

And I don't deserve your personal attacks. They are unfounded and suggestive of mental infancy.

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26bunkpatrol(87 comments)posted 1 month, 1 week ago

Funny that you are the one who brings race into the scenario and then categorize me as a race baiter.

Your agenda, not mine.

Michael Brown shooting not "officer involved" ?
Whatever-I give up.

I get your point. All cops good. Criminals guilty until proven innocent. Tanks for Mayberry. Fear black people. Villainize anyone who disagrees.

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27steivo(540 comments)posted 1 month, 1 week ago

If their was a levy on the ballot to fund MRAP's for the police department with a rotating turret with .50 caliber machine gun. I would vote for it and actively support the levy.

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28bunkpatrol(87 comments)posted 1 month, 1 week ago

Live by the gun, die by the gun.

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29steivo(540 comments)posted 1 month, 1 week ago

"Live by the gun, die by the gun." That is exactly what we are doing in Youngstown right now. We need to stop worrying about the rights of criminals and put them all in prison.

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30bunkpatrol(87 comments)posted 1 month, 1 week ago

No-it's exactly what you are asking for by bringing the big military issue stuff to town.

You want Ferguson here ? Careful what you wish for because it's the same thing you're b*tching about.

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31steivo(540 comments)posted 1 month, 1 week ago

No. Its exactly what we already have here. What we need is for the police to squash the rebellion and put each and every criminal in prison for a long time. And yes, the police should have overwhelming force including tanks if necessary.

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32bunkpatrol(87 comments)posted 1 month, 1 week ago

"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety" . BENJAMIN FRANKLIN

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33steivo(540 comments)posted 1 month, 1 week ago

If there is a riot or looting on my street, I will call the police and I hope they arrive in a tank or MRAP with automatic weapons. I don't care if there is some counter-culture out there who blames the police for their bad behavior, just take them off to prison. They will have plenty of time in prison to blame the system for their personal failures.

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34theoldwrench(243 comments)posted 1 month, 1 week ago

@evio what is your definition of rebellion or are you unable to answerer that question too?????

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35theoldwrench(243 comments)posted 1 month, 1 week ago

@Chessiedad Maybe you can answerer a question? Why weren't these same tactics not used at the Bundy ranch armed standoff???? Or are laws broken by a some people not same as others.

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36steivo(540 comments)posted 1 month, 1 week ago

My definition of a rebellion is when people use flimsy excuses to burn and loot to take goods that don't belong to them.

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37steivo(540 comments)posted 1 month, 1 week ago

I fully support "stop and frisk" procedures and DUI checkpoints and I feel their use should be increased dramatically. I don't care if there is some counter-culture out there who blames the police for their bad behavior, just take them off to prison. They will have plenty of time in prison to blame the system for their personal failures. And I certainly have no interest at all in the counter-cultures interpretation of the constitution.f

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38steivo(540 comments)posted 1 month, 1 week ago

I have already explained to you that I don't care about your counter-culture's interpretation of the constitution.

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39theoldwrench(243 comments)posted 1 month, 1 week ago

@thinkdonttalk Thank you That is what I thought also I wonder what would happen if black militia was formed and did the same thing a white militia did at bundy? Evio There can only be one interpretation of the Constitution But I'm Sure in your extreme right wing bubble that only certain people have those rights and others don't.

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40steivo(540 comments)posted 1 month, 1 week ago

There is at least two interpretations of the constitution, because I don't agree with yours

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41steivo(540 comments)posted 1 month ago

If the police stop me and want to frisk me, I have no problem at all with it. If I get stopped at an OVI checkpoint, I have no problem at all with it. I will not blame the police for doing their job and I won't leave the experience with any permanent lifetime emotional scars, nor will I attempt to claim any imaginary constitutional rights to prevent it.

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42dmo8723(2 comments)posted 1 month ago

a lot of fools in here.Father God only judges right or wrong not all that other bs you all talking about.whats right is that what city other than Chicago needs a fleet of military Humvees and a stock pile of weapons. and you say if you're not a criminal you should'nt be worried. that's a damn lie but it might start that way.when in U.S history has every policeman needed a m16 crime is dropping everywhere even in Youngstown.Every cop will say pull out the m16 when the criminals where teens with bb guns. Please don't act so innocent if there is someone who has not forgotten to wear their seatbelt,ran a light, speed every day to work let me know. I do know that most of us have committed a crime so the next time the police are looking for a white male or white female suspect and your kid fits the description but when the police approach them they have on head phones and they reach and their pocket for their cellphone and are killed then you will realize every murder victim or prison inmate that lost their life at the hands of police aren't criminals.My grandmother is the biggest Christian I know crime free and she really lives the word but hey every time the police gets behind her she gets nervous and checks for her seatbelt because she had friends killed and assaulted by police without any consequences. Oh and since im dealing with a whole lot of republicans i'll even bash Obama so you can get the point. It seems that some of you would love all police essentially become militarized well it just so happens Obama was involved in a U.N agreement to enforce a ban on certain guns, so militarizing the police force would be a great thing if you plan to take guns because except for these law abiding citizens who would give up guns certainly not the criminals. And ill post 10 links here real fast to show you how your good ole government voted on this bill already and even democrats voted against it did you know that straight and narrows.

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43dmo8723(2 comments)posted 1 month ago

1.FactCheck.org-Obama's gun ban

3 obamas real reason he wants your guns-top documentary films

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44bunkpatrol(87 comments)posted 1 month ago

While we're attacking grammar and spelling, perhaps you'll educate yourself on the appropriate use of "quotations".

High speed chases, shootouts, riot gear and tear gas. Often these angelic policemen's best intentions fly in the face of "public safety".

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45L0L(661 comments)posted 1 month ago

@bunkpatrol as well as all others... You're right. The police should just let all of the criminals run amuk. Forget chasing the guy who just robbed someone or broke into a house, or riot gear and tear gas when the animals decide to loot. They also should not have m16s available to them and ready at hand in the case of a school, theater or mass shooting incident.

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46bunkpatrol(87 comments)posted 1 month ago

Don't believe that's my position at all. In fact, that's the fallible slippery slope argument put in place of my argument of sound logic.

I have no problem with the police pursuing or apprehending. I have a problem with you all justifying the killing of a supposed robber. And the killing of said robber prior to any kind of trial. And then the brutal show of force used against those who protested such lack of justice. And the continued justification of the militarization of such brutal fascism due to racism and fear.

The $737,000 Caiman is nothing more than big gov't waste and customizing it is throwing good money at bad. I have a huge issue with all of you hypocrites who can justify this as free and necessary while screaming of the evils of entitlement and big government.

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47L0L(661 comments)posted 1 month ago

Justifying the killer of a robber? The "robber" fought with the officer. The "robber" attempted to disarm the officer. Should the officer just let the "robber" kick his a$$? In what society is it acceptable to fight with an officer let alone try to take his gun? Attempting to disarm an officer alone is grounds for deadly force. Not too mention other factors such as offender/officer size, tiredness, weapon involved (in this case offender was attempting to take the officer's), and so on. Officers don't just go on the road and hold court and kill "robbers" before they go to court. Is what happened unfortunate? Yes, for both sides. However, I do not feel bad for the suspect for HIS actions that sparked the incident. I feel bad for his family.

As far as teh Caiman yes it may be the government's waste so Law Enforcement should turn their nose at it and not utilize it? Customizing it might be as simple as painting it so it doesn't look so "military" that all of you are whining about. There's people like you that no matter what the police do or government do it will be wrong. I know, I know, you're just trying to hold them accountable. Blah, blah, blah

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48steivo(540 comments)posted 1 month ago

And that Darren Wilson was placing his face in the exact location that Brown wanted to swing his fists.

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49DACOUNTRYBOY(229 comments)posted 1 month ago

TRUMP and I aint talkin bout Donald! Today's criminal rights "TRUMP" those of law enforcement. They get huge rewards after clashing with law enforcement paid for by the taxes of those that they continue to victimize. Can you say war zone?

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50YtownParent(325 comments)posted 1 month ago

Been too busy at work to do more than read the past week. I hope you don't get too emotional @Chessiedad, but nobody said " most Police Officers are sex offenders". After laying out the statistics of cops who are convicted of crimes and cops who are killed in the line of duty and where you can fact check stats, what I said, was: "Unfortunately, the Robert Lodwicks of the police forces are more prevalent than the Officer Hartzells." It is a statistical fact that more cops are convicted of crimes against the public than are killed by the public.

Again, that is officers who are "convicted", not officers who are complained about, not disciplined, not fired nor sued, but investigated by their law enforcement brothers, indited, tried and found guilty.
Both are ugly stats that in a perfect world would be zero. It is unfortunate that there are more convicted criminals than fallen officers.The only fortunate part of those stats is that combined they are only a microscopic percentage of police forces. Thankfully, most cops are not killed and most cops don't commit crimes. Those are the cops we should care about. Those are the cops you should get emotional about and vigorously question how department actions and policies help them.

Militarizing the police force doesn't help the large percent of cops who do their best for the communities they work in. It makes them more of a target, not just for criminals but everyday law abiding citizens. If criminals deserve to be treated like that, then all criminals deserve to be treated like that, including those in uniform. Yes, there are criminal cops. And no, I don't mean cops who make bad judgement calls or who are involved in shootings. Bad bad judgement calls and officer involved shootings usually don't end up in convictions. Yeah, I'm emotional about it because criminals cops endanger the lives of law abiding officers like my friends and neighbors.

Militarization has pragmatic drawbacks too. Police departments are surgical instruments designed to remove a specific threat without endangering the community. Military units are blunt instruments like chemotherapy that are designed to eradicate a whole area. The M16 is the perfect example. Rifles and hand guns are made to take out a single perp at a time. Automatic weapons were made to flood a whole area and take out as many targets as possible. Would you really want cops opening up fire on a school, movie, mall, etc shooter with automatic weapons & raining bullets down in a area where your children are? Or would you rather a marksman carefully setup a shot and take out a shooter only? If you are okay with the cops using weapons of war & literally waging war, then don't complain when someone you love becomes collateral damage.

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51steivo(540 comments)posted 1 month ago

Most that I have talked to have no problems with the police having military hardware and think that it is totally bizarre that some are saying the police are the bad guys and the bad guys are the good guys. If someone can't live according to the law, they need to go to prison to think about the error of their ways.

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52SheDevil(120 comments)posted 1 month ago

"Militarization has pragmatic drawbacks too. Police departments are surgical instruments designed to remove a specific threat without endangering the community......."

Very well said

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53steivo(540 comments)posted 1 month ago

Very well said.

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54YtownParent(325 comments)posted 1 month ago

I'm not saying the bad guys are the good guys. What is bizarre is that so many argue that a badge magically makes a human being infallible and unable to commit crimes. So I guess Girard had better give Larry Neely his job back because it isn't a crime if a cop lets their underage child have parties and serve alcohol to other minors. Wonder what would happen if you did that Chessie. Warren had better give Rueben Shaw his job back too, because a cop taking someone else's car out of a locked garage isn't a crime.

Let's not forget Ray Greenwood, whose largest crime is lying not once or twice, but on four occasions to investigators. He's a cop so it's okay for him to commit perjury because he's gotta keep himself safe. Greenwood is the perfect example of how civil rights violations in the name of officer safety can become outright criminal behavior to save ones job. How many of the criminals Greenwood put away will soon be out and eligible to sue the taxpayers of Struthers because any testimony Greenwood ever gave & every shred of evidence he collected is now tainted by his perjury & has to be thrown out.

So my question for all the shoot first and ask questions later crowd is do you apply those same standards to everyone breaking the law? Do all those breaking the law deserve no civil rights. Does that apply to everyone breaking the law? Even cops? By your logic those former cops should have just been shot out right because they have guns and the police need to protect themselves from criminals with weapons.

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55YtownParent(325 comments)posted 1 month ago

As for using Lodwick and Hartzell's name in the same sentence, they associated themselves with each other when they both put on the uniform. The Commanding officers and internal affairs morons that excused Lodwick's behavior with all the same rhetoric being used here to absolve all cops of whatever actions they take in uniform stained the memory of my friends on the force, including Mike Hartzell, who I know for a fact complained about Lodwick's conduct and attitude.

It's unfortunate that more cops die as criminals than heroes because those criminals in uniform stain every other officer who ever served. Giving cops more power (and power always corrupts) will only make the stain larger and darker.

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56steivo(540 comments)posted 1 month ago

Ok do you understand that. The criminals are just misunderstood guys that are having their civil rights violated. The police are the bad guys that deserve to be thrown in prison.

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57SheDevil(120 comments)posted 1 month ago

A dedicated community servant deserves courtesy and respect from other members of that community; someone who tells me to “just do what I tell you” doesn’t see me as a fellow citizen but a subject.

"Just do what I tell you", - sounds like phrase from East Berlin..

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58bunkpatrol(87 comments)posted 1 month ago

From what I've learned in the comments here, you must hate ALL cops and love ALL criminals, SheDevil.

Commenters exaggerate your argument and then attack the misrepresentation.

That is because they are ignorant and incapable of producing a sound logical argument on their own.

Too bad the pundits they parrot can't be there to tell them the correct soundbites to utter when challenged by sound logical statements of fact.

Laughable-except the most powerless are manipulated to scream the loudest. Grumpy white entitled old men losing their grip. Or cops afraid of losing their toys, stooping to the level of defending bad cops.

So the argument devolves to name calling and messenger killing. Pathetic.

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59SheDevil(120 comments)posted 1 month ago

Inane rant

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60bunkpatrol(87 comments)posted 1 month ago

Well then I guess you've "earned" my "respect" and I can "trust" you "blindly" because you don't "seem" to have a "horse" in this "race".

Civil disobedience founded this country.

Fascist militarization fueled by fear and greed will be it's end.

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61YtownParent(325 comments)posted 1 month ago

"God help you and your loved ones if your neighborhood ever has an "active shooter" on the loose, and you need to evacuate. You'll be begging the Police to come get you in one of those "Caimans" or "armored-up" Humvees you hate so much." I don't think so. An active shooter in my neighborhood wouldn't be done firing before anyone dialed 911. Then the police would take me or one of my neighbors to jail & charge us with murder for eliminating the threat because they didn't get to play with their toys.

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62steivo(540 comments)posted 1 month ago

I think it is the latter.

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63YtownParent(325 comments)posted 1 month ago

No, I am not advocating vigilante justice". I am advocating self-defense of your own life and/or the life of someone else. You made the statement "God help you and your loved ones if your neighborhood ever has an "active shooter" on the loose, and you need to evacuate. You'll be begging the Police to come get you in one of those "Caimans" or "armored-up" Humvees you hate so much. An active shooter is a whole lot different than a junkie or gang-banger walking down the street casing houses. An active shooter is someone who is "actively" pulling the trigger and sending bullets wizzing around. The law says anyone has a right to take that shooter out in defense of themselves or anyone else.

Are you really saying that if an active shooter is roaming your neighborhood firing bullets that could come through a window and hit you or a family member, you wouldn't stop the shooter if you had the means to do so? Are you telling me you'd want all your neighbors to let the shooter room around the neighborhood until the cops showed up? Even two minutes with a semi-auto weapon in a residential area would be enough for any novice psychopath to kill dozens.

Taking out an active shooter is self-defense. Grabbing a weapon and running after someone who looks like a junkie casing houses and shooting them is vigilante justice. Yes, I advocate an armed populace that will protect each other.

You'll probably have a hard complexity, so you'll call it a contradiction, when it's not. While I don't agree that police should be armed and operating like military units (mostly because police departments don't have the same discipline as military units), I do believe they have the same right to protect themselves as anyone else. I do think the police violated civil rights and were out of line in their response to protests in Ferguson, but I think the initial shooting of Brown was self-defense.

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64bunkpatrol(87 comments)posted 4 weeks ago


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