Boston PD to get 200 AR's for the street cop

Palladin

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http://www.boston.com/news/local/ma...irepower_semiautomatic_assault_rifles?mode=PF

Police getting more firepower
200 to be armed with assault rifles
By Donovan Slack and Maria Cramer, Globe Staff | May 29, 2009

The Boston Police Department is preparing a plan to arm as many as 200 patrol officers with semiautomatic assault rifles, a significant boost in firepower that department leaders believe is necessary to counter terrorist threats, according to law enforcement officials briefed on the plan.

The initiative calls for equipping specialized units, such as the bomb squad and harbor patrol, with the high-powered long-range M16 rifles first, the officials said. The department would then distribute the weapons to patrol officers in neighborhood precincts over the next several months, according to the two law enforcement officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they did not have permission to speak publicly.

The officials did not know exactly when the department planned to start handing out the rifles but said police officials already have acquired the guns.

Police department spokeswoman Elaine Driscoll declined to discuss any details of the plan yesterday. She said the plan was still in an "inquiry stage."

"Commissioner [Edward] Davis has not decided if he would like to move forward with this initiative," she said. "At this time, absolutely no determination has been made."

The M16 rifle is a standard, military-issue weapon distributed to US armed forces. It can be used in the field by soldiers with a fully automatic function, operating as a machine-gun, but the Boston proposal is to arm them the weapons for semiautomatic operation.

The law enforcement officials who discussed the proposal said department leaders have described the need for more potent weaponry to confront terrorists like the ones who attacked hotels and other sites in Mumbai, India, last November, killing 166 people and wounding 234 others.

But the plan has sparked a debate within the Police Department about the safety of routinely deploying military-grade weapons on Boston's streets. Currently, the department keeps its stock of high-powered rifles locked in special gun cars that can be driven to crime scenes when they are needed by SWAT teams.

Some police union officials, who are scheduled to discuss the firepower upgrade with department management today, are concerned that the weapons are too powerful for city streets and that they could fall into the wrong hands and be used against police officers and citizens, the officials said.

But other union leaders are not as concerned.

Detective Miller Thomas, president of the Boston Police Detectives Benevolent Society, said he felt comfortable with the safety guidelines department officials have pledged to put in place. Thomas said that in meetings held a few months ago and during the past two weeks, police officials explained to him and other union leaders that the guns would be assigned to specific officers and deposited in special lockers when they went home. When the officers are patrolling, the guns would be secured in cruisers with special lock mechanisms, Thomas said.

"It's not like it's going to be like anyone can go in and take the gun out," he said.

Thomas said department officials told him they plan to provide officers assigned to carry the rifles with up to 40 hours of training and have them shoot some 2,000 practice rounds to become comfortable firing the weapons.

Other officers who are not selected to carry the guns, or choose not to, will be given a less-intensive course so that they will know how to handle one of the guns in an emergency, Thomas said.

He said the plan is to equip patrol officers, detectives, and supervisors with the rifles.

Boston would not be the first city to arm patrol officers with assault rifles. Many other large police departments - including those in Chicago, Miami, Las Vegas, Cincinnati, and Phoenix - are using such rifles already or are planning to.

In Denver, patrol officers have been armed with assault rifles for at least a decade, Denver police spokesman Sonny Jackson said. The rifles are widely distributed, Jackson said, but he declined to say how widely distributed, citing safety reasons. Officers keep them inside hard cases secured in the trunks of police cruisers, in accordance with department policy, which also dictates that the chamber be empty and no magazine loaded in the weapon, he said.

Jackson said the department began using the rifles when Denver police officials saw that officers in other cities were being outgunned by suspects packing high-powered weapons.

"What we were seeing is that the suspects, they're using heavy artillery, they're using assault rifles," Jackson said. "And the officers were only using handguns, and they were at a deficit."

In Boston, the law enforcement officials said the idea of arming patrol officers with assault rifles was first floated about a year ago by Deputy Superintendent Darrin Greeley. But the plan did not gain support from his superiors until after the Mumbai attacks, when Superintendent Daniel Linskey, who is in charge of the Bureau of Field Services and oversees all patrol officers, signed on.

Linskey has since chaired the meetings with union and department officials and outlined plans for the rifles, the law enforcement officials said. Driscoll, the police spokeswoman, characterized the meetings as internal conversations and routine procedure when the department is considering the use of new equipment.

But the department already has received 200 fully automatic rifles from the federal government and plans to modify them to perform like semiautomatic weapons, shooting only one bullet at a time instead of rapidly spraying bullets at targets, the law enforcement officials said.

Thomas said the need for such weapons is clear. He pointed to recent fatal attacks on officers, including the April 4 fatal shooting of three Pittsburgh police officers who were killed by a man lying in wait and armed with an assault rifle.

"If you look around, policemen get pinned down by someone who is firing on them, by virtue that they are being fired at from a greater distance," Thomas said.

Right now, he said, most Boston officers are equipped only with 40-caliber pistols that shoot targets at a maximum of 25 yards away.
"Certainly having our guys with the proper equipment on the street is a benefit to everybody," Thomas said.

Donovan Slack can be reached at [email protected].


I like the .40cal reference! [smile]
 

darrowj

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I heard this on NPR this morning while dropping off my son at school. I heard him say a number of times the words "M-16" and "semi-automatic." That does not sound right to me.
 
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Currently, the department keeps its stock of high-powered rifles locked in special gun cars that can be driven to crime scenes when they are needed by SWAT teams.

I'm surprised they don't have to make a request in writing to have the "special gun car" be driven to a bank shootout! Wait... maybe they do??
 

Urj

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"Tyranny is defined as that which is legal for the government but illegal for the citizenry." - Thomas Jefferson

Isn't it still illegal to own an AR15 in Boston?

Oh and what happened to once a machine gun always a machine gun...oh yeah, they're cops.
 

M1911

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Doesn't sound like that will help in an emergency situation.
It's likely the exact same sort of lock used for shotguns. Press a button and it unlocks.

Some police union officials, who are scheduled to discuss the firepower upgrade with department management today, are concerned that the weapons are too powerful for city streets and that they could fall into the wrong hands and be used against police officers and citizens, the officials said.
Some police union officials are complete idiots who shouldn't be trusted with pointed sticks.
 
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The Boston Police Department is preparing a plan to arm as many as 200 patrol officers with semiautomatic assault rifles,

But I thought assault rifles were evil... isn't that why they are called ASSAULT rifles, and aren't those illegal.

The M16 rifle is a standard, military-issue weapon distributed to US armed forces. It can be used in the field by soldiers with a fully automatic function, operating as a machine-gun, but the Boston proposal is to arm them the weapons for semiautomatic operation.

OH! so they explain that it is not a fully automatic version when they are arming police with them but if we want to buy one they will have the public thinking that it's a belt fed rail run.


The law enforcement officials who discussed the proposal said department leaders have described the need for more potent weaponry to confront terrorists like the ones who attacked hotels and other sites in Mumbai, India, last November, killing 166 people and wounding 234 others.

So the police need these types of rifles for protection because the "Bad Guys" may try to commit horrible crimes but the Govt. doesn't want us to be able to have those same protections.

But the plan has sparked a debate within the Police Department about the safety of routinely deploying military-grade weapons on Boston's streets. Currently, the department keeps its stock of high-powered rifles locked in special gun cars that can be driven to crime scenes when they are needed by SWAT teams.

...OOPS did someone let it slip that the MA State Govt. doesn't even trust the Police to have these weapons..

Some police union officials, who are scheduled to discuss the firepower upgrade with department management today, are concerned that the weapons are too powerful for city streets and that they could fall into the wrong hands and be used against police officers and citizens, the officials said.

Yep, They police don't even trust the police to handle these weapons.



Thomas said department officials told him they plan to provide officers assigned to carry the rifles with up to 40 hours of training and have them shoot some 2,000 practice rounds to become comfortable firing the weapons.

It must be 4 1/2 days of classroom and a half day of shooting. I can waste 2,000 rounds in a few hours with enough magazines.




Right now, he said, most Boston officers are equipped only with 40-caliber pistols that shoot targets at a maximum of 25 yards away.
"Certainly having our guys with the proper equipment on the street is a benefit to everybody," Thomas said.

25 yards?? is that Right??
 
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Look at it this way; one of the big hurdles we face with EBR's is public fear. Fear is bred by ignorance. They fear these things because they don't SEE them often and when they do it's either news footage of urban combat in the middle east or in movies where they're being used by criminals. WE know that more then 97% of the time, a violent crime is going to be committed with something OTHER then a rifle, let alone an EBR, but if you watch movies or your average cop show (which is where 97% of people get the information they form their perceptions from) EBR's are the weapon of choice for your average scumbag.

Put them in the hands of patrolmen and now the public is exposed to them more often and in circumstances where they're being used by 'good guys'. If Officer Friendly has one in his car and it doesn't cause him to go beserk and start shooting up Downtown Crossing just because of it's EBR Aura of Evil, then they're no longer as 'scary' and we're much more likely to get stupid laws changed. Further, having the cops carrying them takes away a MAJOR argument against civilian ownership that the Patrolman's Union keeps raising - the fear that the public they're policing will be better armed then they are.

Me, I don't have a problem with it.
 
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Why would the Boston Police Department want their officers to "spray-fire" "from the hip" into crowds of civilians, killing as many of them as they can in the shortest amount of time possible?

That is the only thing these weapons can be used for, right?
 
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I heard this on NPR this morning while dropping off my son at school. I heard him say a number of times the words "M-16" and "semi-automatic." That does not sound right to me.

But the department already has received 200 fully automatic rifles from the federal government and plans to modify them to perform like semiautomatic weapons, shooting only one bullet at a time instead of rapidly spraying bullets at targets, the law enforcement officials said.

They may ACTUALLY have gotten it right. Sounds like they got 200 M16's via DHS and they're modifying them for semi-auto only - so technically they ARE M16's and they ARE 'assault rifles' - at least until they full auto feature's gone.
 

FiremanBob

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Police union officials are afraid of police officers being armed with effective firepower? I'd like to hear what the policemen they claim to represent think about that.

It is troubling to read that the purpose of the upgrade is to combat terrorism merely two weeks after the Feds have publicly denounced all conservatives, veterans, and patriots as domestic terrorists. Deeply troubling.

Anyone else bothered by that?
 
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I wonder if the large contributions the unions get from the Brady org as well as Rosenthal's group has anything to do with the opposition by some members?
 

M1911

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I wonder if the large contributions the unions get from the Brady org as well as Rosenthal's group has anything to do with the opposition by some members?

Hanlon's razor: Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.
 
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Its funny that they need 200 AR's for a street cop, but Boston won't give a class A LTC ALP to anyone. If Boston is that bad that they need to be issuing "assault rifles" maybe they should do more to allow private citizens to protect themselves.
 

terraformer

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I wonder if the large contributions the unions get from the Brady org as well as Rosenthal's group has anything to do with the opposition by some members?

At least that would be consistent and not hypocritical. Two things I don't expect from those moonbats.
 

DickWanner

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Even the Fitchburg State campus cops have Colt ARs in the trunk. Not that they know how to use them though. They had to bring them to the ROTC kids to show them how to take them apart and clean them.
 

JonJ

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Thomas said department officials told him they plan to provide officers assigned to carry the rifles with up to 40 hours of training and have them shoot some 2,000 practice rounds to become comfortable firing the weapons.
I'm impressed!
Lets see if that really follows through.
When we got ours, it was an 8 hour "Patrol Rifle Orientation" and maybe 200 rounds.
 
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They may ACTUALLY have gotten it right. Sounds like they got 200 M16's via DHS and they're modifying them for semi-auto only - so technically they ARE M16's and they ARE 'assault rifles' - at least until they full auto feature's gone.

Correct. These are most likely military surplus M-16s like the ones that have been supplied, and modified to semi-auto, to departments across the country. Nothing new.
 
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