Letter - Police MRAP could save lives

Advertisement

Disturbing.

That’s about all I can say about Tanner McCoon’s recent letter. He rails on about the horrible thing the local police did when they obtained the surplus MRAP.

I am very sorry for the horrible treatment he must have received from the police in the past. Only a horrible interaction could explain his mistrust.

I read the same story he did and I immediately thought how great it was that we now had this piece of equipment that could very possibly save lives. Law enforcement or civilian, to my way of thinking, a life saved is a life saved.

I doubt it will be used to bust illegal pot growers. Unless, of course, they are wanted felons suspected of having firearms. Maybe they are gang members being sought for another gang-related shooting or death.

Makes no difference to me. If the equipment can get the job done safer, use it.

We ask the police to do things that scare most of us nearly to death. We owe it to them to provide the safest equipment available.

Maybe Tanner can go with police and they will let him knock on the door of a wanted felon who has been threatening to shoot the next officer he sees.

My suggestion to you is put up or shut up. The Police Department and Sheriff’s Office are always taking applications. Maybe Tanner can get to drive the MRAP instead of complaining about it.

By the way, it cost the taxpayers just under $7,000. That will not go far in road repair!

R.W. Allessio

Walla Walla

Comments

chicoli 3 months, 3 weeks ago

I must admit, being an Air Force guy, I don't understand these Army things too well. But if MRAP means Mine Resistance, Ambush Protecting vehicle...does it means this vehicle is a bit of an exaggeration for Walla Walla?

For $7,000 a copy I myself would like to buy a couple...and start a unique chicken taco stand business...and call it MRAP ( My Rositas Alternative to Pork). Tino, I need a partner!

0

stvsngltn 3 months, 3 weeks ago

ROFL .... I relish the somewhat rare chuckles I get from comments in this forum. Good one.

0

PearlY 3 months, 3 weeks ago

Although I've had reasons to interact with the police about once every 3-5 years, and received about one ticket per decade (usually for expired license tabs), the very worst interaction I've ever had with a police officer was professional but slightly unfriendly. All the rest were very positive, even on the few occasions I received a well-deserved ticket (and especially on all the occasions when I deserved one but was let off with a warning: Thanks, guys and gal!).

However. . . . there is or should be something fundamentally different about the mindset of a police department versus a military unit (at least a police department someplace like Walla Walla; Detroit maybe not so much). The police need to be approachable, need to be viewed as "one of us" not "one of them", and while they need to project power and intimidation occasionally, those can't be broadcast wholesale. Not only is that their job, I'm sure it also keeps them safer if the community sees them as our allies, not our overseers.

Anyway, they have it now. Maybe they can paint it sky-blue and put a Donald Duck toy on its antenna or something, to take the bad ju-ju out of it.

1

dogman12 3 months, 3 weeks ago

The taxpayers paid full price for this thing at some point, so the $7000 figure for the latest transaction is misleading.

It remains to be seen, and will never be provable, if the MRAP saves a life. Seems like a case of seeing a "hell of a bargain" on something not really needed and not being able to resist buying it. I wonder what maintaining it is going to cost?

The militarization of the PD mindset is a concern. I would rather see the PD improve its response to property crimes, public inebriation, and dangerous mentally ill people than prepare for a SWAT standoff.

I will try to keep this story short. I witnessed youth damaging public property with a hatchet. The PD arrived, took possession of the hatchet, and talked with the youth. I was expecting a citation or arrest to follow. No, they gave the hatchet back and walked away! What did the youth and friends learn from that episode? There are no consequences to delinquent behavior. That's what I mean by improving response to the most common infractions. An MRAP dos not help with that.

0

chicoli 3 months, 3 weeks ago

Dogman12, good point in highlighting proportionality as a guiding principle in exercising the policing of the community. On the one hand MRAPs are an exaggeration for this community. On the other hand to slam a young man with a severe penalty for what seems to be a misdemeanor could also be an exaggeration. At times a good talk and counseling from a PD officer is more effective, indeed. So, proportionality on both cases is the way to go.

1

dogman12 3 months, 1 week ago

The young man is question is a chronic offender and needs to learn that "society" will not tolerate out of bounds behavior without delivering consequences.

1

barracuda 3 months, 3 weeks ago

Walla Walla County Sheriff's office owns, and regularly uses a equally high profile vehicle. The most notable is a difference in vehicle configuration, the Sheriff's office armored vehicle looks more like a tank with rubber tires. While the PD's version looks kind of like a 6x6 on steroids. The S.O. had to pay for this vehicle's shipping and it came to our area in similar shape. It also was in camouflage paint. They had to have it painted and outfitted with weapon holders, radios, and emergency lights.

Just like the S.O. the Police Dept. "acquired" this vehicle off of a list of availably surplus vehicles. The list has only a certain amount of vehicles on it, and I would guess this vehicle was one that was best that was available to our city. Is it overkill, maybe. Is it needed? I hope not.

0

stvsngltn 3 months, 3 weeks ago

I am and have been a 100% supporter of local law enforcement officers and departments. I also want to have them equipped with appropriate protective gear and SWAT vehicles. The issue of militarization of civilian LE is, however, something that needs to be discussed and addressed ... especially when one reads about dynamic entries being made at the wrong address or a Marine veteran being shot to death when that happens and he had apparently armed himself due to a perceived threat of someone breaking in. That aside, my main problem with this MRAP issue is that the military is giving away 13,000 of them that were purchased with our tax dollars for nearly $800,000 apiece .... when they could have been stored and provided limited maintenance for contingency reasons to protect our troops in the event of another war .... at least for several years. I hope that they won't be needed but in these dangerous times, our military must remain prepared.

2

PearlY 3 months, 3 weeks ago

"[O]ur military must remain prepared." There's little evidence our current CIC agrees with you. In South Korea last week he said, " "Anyone can move an army. Anyone can show off a missile. That doesn't make you strong." According to Yahoo News, he went on to say real strength comes from having an open participatory democracy, open markets and a society free to speak out against its government.

Actually, the ability to move an army and project devastating force from afar with nuclear missiles does indeed make you strong - or at least dangerous, which is a good proxy for strength if your opponents are pacifically inclined. And recorded human history from Genghis Khan and Alexander to Mao, Stalin and Hitler proves that "participatory democracy and open markets" are nice ways to live, but are no substitute for military strength.

I agree it's a waste of taxpayer dollars to essentially junk this equipment, but mothballing it would "send the wrong message" about our pacifistic intentions under the only American President to be awarded a Nobel Peace Prize without having to win a war first.

1

chicoli 3 months, 3 weeks ago

There was a Prussian military genius, Von Clausewitz, who wrote a book entitle "On War". In his 800 pages volume he established principles of war which are valid today, and is mandatory reading at West Point and at all US Military War Colleges. Amongst many principles the most accepted is that war is the continuation of politics by different means. No politics first, you will be defeated in war.

He also wrote about the will of the country to go to war, regardless how powerful your Army is. A good example is Vietnam vis a vis France and, later on the US. The "fog of war" relates to the unpredictability of so many factors, reason for which he favors prevention of war by means of sociopolitical deterrents and balance of power. Truthfulness with "the people" from the leadership to gain their will is essential. The innate wisdom of "the people" will find out lies to go to war at which time is wise to declare "victory", cut your casualties to a minimum and return home. Examples: Vietnam and the Iraq war. In essence good diplomacy, transparency and the will of the Country to go to war are a must.

War mongering by career politicians without military experience looking for enemies under every stone they turn is not good for the Country.

Finally let me remind you that our military strength is more powerful than the strength of the military from all the industrialized countries, together. But be cautious as we still lost the Vietnam and Iraq war! In summary it takes a heck of a lot more than strength to win a war!

1

PearlY 3 months, 3 weeks ago

For a democracy, strength is necessary but not sufficient to win a war. In a dictatorship, strength is all it takes to start one. I just wish I had confidence that Obama understands that. In his dealings with Putin, and I'm pretty sure Obama's speech, although made in South Korea, was directed to Putin, it's downright painful to watch him flounder. PS. Clausewitz said war is "politik" by other means. I don't recall he ever said anything about "politics first."

1

chicoli 3 months, 3 weeks ago

Hi, Pearl. We retired officers have an association (ROA) chapter in WW. We have lunch every first Friday of the month at the Country Club. One of the topics for this Friday is the balance between high tech weapons development versus improvement to more traditional weaponry and training. The other topic is about how to improve the lives of our active injured and retired armed force members. I would like for you to be my guest. You will have the opportunity to meet other members including WW II heroes, that is if the manage to attend.

Sorry that this is off the topic at hand, but based on your answers it seems you're interested on these ones. If any others want to know about our group, please let me know. We want the community to know about what we do.

0

PearlY 3 months, 3 weeks ago

Paco, thank you for the very kind invitation. I'm going to be out of town this Friday, but I hope the offer remains open for some future date because I am indeed very interested in these issues and would love to meet your group.

0

chicoli 3 months, 3 weeks ago

Rain check for the first Friday in June or any other month! The topic could change though.

0

chicoli 3 months, 3 weeks ago

Pearl, please remember that President G. W. Bush, a republican and a war monger, has been the only president in history who disastrously lost a war where thousand of American heroes died in vain and the Country, not only lost trillions of dollars, but the moral respect all over the world.

After 10 years of a gargantuan, useless war, who got us out of Iraq...and got Bin Laden? Ah, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, indeed! After the most disastrous war defeat in history, who needs or wants a war with Russia?

Do you really believe the American people has the WILL for another war?

Let me remind you that when Putin "invaded" Georgia, Mr. Bush did diddle squat, not even a single sanction to the Russians! And I believe he did the right thing! Did he get any prize for anything he did? Nope, not even a mug!

0

namvet60 3 months, 3 weeks ago

paco - do you have GW Bush engraved on your forehead just so you don't forget who to blame for the problems of the World?

0

PearlY 3 months, 3 weeks ago

Paco, Lyndon Johnson's war was the only one we've ever "lost." The war against Saddam Hussein was won, or did you miss the news the day he was hung? That the country remains something of a mess makes it no different from pretty much every other country in the Middle East of divided Islamic sects.

No, I don't believe the American people have the will for another war. I also don't believe we would have had the will for WWII if the press had been of the caliber of ours today and the opposition party had been highlighting every casualty and every mistake.

1

chicoli 3 months, 3 weeks ago

Pearl, we "decapitated" the wrong guy who had no weapons of mass destruction. Nor such weapons could be found when Bush looked under the furniture of the White House either. And for the President to make such a mockery of a war in which we lost more than 5 thousand American soldiers is simply unconscionable! For the most part, we tortured the wrong guys. Well, we're not supposed to torture people, period.

The only one wining on this debacle was Halliburton with multi trillion dollars in no-biding contracts.

0

pdywgn 3 months, 3 weeks ago

If the explosives that were stolen from the airport are ever recovered in town the MRAP may come in use to transport them in small quantities at a time to a safe location. If they have to pass your house I'd bet you would think it was a reasonable expense. (Just thinking of another use).

2

VampireNinja 3 months, 3 weeks ago

Von Clausewitz also advanced the theory of absolute or "total war" in the sense that war, and politics by extension, must (ideally) not have boundaries, either temporal, physical or social and the will to advance conflict in all theaters available and to their greatest extent. I don't think I'm alone in thinking that this paradigm is morally questionable when civilian law enforcement mentality and focus shifts to a version of perpetual, total warfare against fellow citizens. This distressing state is aggravated further by recent revelations of massive overreach and blatant shredding of rights (such as Parallel Construction)

by local constabularies around the country. This kind of mindset is inherently confrontational, unfit for the position of power in which we have allowed them to have over us for the greater good of the population according to our Constitution.

That MRAP would be awesome for anyone to have, and our LE in town would be foolish to refuse it. But when you consider that its meant to use against the general population at the discretion of people who are now in a way beholden via boon prestation to those to decide what the law is (not just the enforcement of it) and have the power of legislation (ie Field Marshals in Von Clausewitz's "total war"), then you create a climate where resentment, hypocrisy and repression can fester into a division of the middle-class against itself and outward. That's never a good thing. A delicate subject, and I'm not laying accusations of any kind locally concerning it.

Please forgive my TL;DR-ness. I got on a roll, couldn't properly get a new paragraph to start, and I dig delving into von Clausewitz/Sun Tzu/Machiavelli...and a personal fave: Roger's Rangers

0

downhillracer 3 months, 3 weeks ago

Of course wack-a-doodles (such as those recently presenting themselves in Nevada) akin to the so-called "Sovereign Citizen Movement" don't represent any sort of threat whatsoever..

0

PearlY 3 months, 3 weeks ago

Everybody can be a threat, under the right circumstances. But the Nevada crew was probably far less of one than, say, the Occupy Wall Street crowd. The issue is whether sending an MRAP against them would be a good idea. Do you think it would?

1

tpeacock 3 months, 3 weeks ago

Disturbing indeed! I am very surprised no one commented on Allesio's snotty attitudish letter. Randy, as a career police officer you should know a lot better, though you've had some attitude issues before this. You really don't need to remind anyone of the difficulties police face daily, I guess my fellow Spokanites can just be glad you're not employed here; you'd be shooting people left and right. Just because someone wears a uniform, whether it be police, fire or military, holier than thou attitudes don't go very far. As a Drill Instructor for 16 years I trained thousands of soldiers but always knew when and where I needed to be tough or talk tough, and never used condescending gibberish such as what you laced your letter with.

0

Cowboy01 3 months, 2 weeks ago

So how did we go from Walla Walla getting a cool new toy to full out war? Have none of you been paying any attention to the severity of the crimes that have been happening around Walla Walla in the past couple years? I don’t know about you but I don’t want to be standing in front of a barricaded punk gang banger with a gun, think I would rather be in something a little more bullet proof. I don’t see the big deal with this thing, but I do see a lot of hurt feelings can’t think outside the box whiners!! I’m more embarrassed now than ever to say I’m from this weak town, home of the boo-hoo’ers. Get over it. So the whining and crying doesn’t work? Let’s try attacking Allessio, a guy who devoted his entire career to WWPD and Walla Walla, isn’t that right TEACUP. I have had my rounds with this guy, and yes he gave it to you straight up and in your face, but you being a big bad drill instructor should have been able to take it in an understanding manner, but I’m thinking now he made you cry and you are still having nightmares about it. Poor little teacup….. No wonder why tri city’s is booming and Walla Walla is turning in to Dixie.

3

Sign in to comment

Click here to sign in
4 free views left!