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Thread: LAPD SWAT has first KIA in 41 years

  1. #1
    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    Default LAPD SWAT has first KIA in 41 years

    SWAT officer killed in Winnetka standoff
    A second officer is wounded; suspect, three others are dead.
    By Jason Kandel, Brent Hopkins, Beth Barrett and Rick Coca, Staff Writers
    Article Launched: 02/07/2008 10:58:01 AM PST
    http://www.pasadenastarnews.com/news/ci_8196471

    WINNETKA - An LAPD SWAT team member was shot to death and another was wounded overnight by a gang member with mental health issues who earlier killed three people inside a home and eventually was shot to death by police, authorities said this morning.

    Officer Randy Simmons, 51, died about 1 a.m., a few minutes after entering the home in the 19800 block of Welby Way. He was shot in the neck, according to City Councilman Dennis Zine.

    *
    It was the first fatality in the history of the elite LAPD SWAT team, which was created in 1967.

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    A reminder that small wars don't only happen in foreign lands. They aren't exclusively military operations either.
    "Pick up a rifle and you change instantly from a subject to a citizen." - Jeff Cooper

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    Rifleman, that same thought has been rattling around in my head for months now.

    RIP, Officer Simmons.

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    LA Times, 16 Mar 08: The LAPD's Assault on SWAT
    .....according to the report itself, out of 3,771 missions SWAT has performed from 1972 to 2005, suspects have been apprehended without any "untoward" incident in 83% of the cases. (The report does not define "untoward.") It notes that SWAT members have killed a suspect only 31 times in 33 years -- that's less than 1% of all engagements, often with the city's most deranged and violent criminals.

    What's more, SWAT has lost only one hostage -- Suzie Peña -- and the way to ensure it doesn't happen again is to maintain and raise standards, not to lower them out of political correctness.....

    ....Based on the findings of the report, the LAPD has just instituted a new selection process for SWAT, according to a SWAT veteran who helped in the redesign. Instead of picking cops on the basis of their ability to handle weapons and stress, the new standards specifically exclude video-based shooting simulator evaluations and "Hogan's Alley," a daunting series of pop-up targets representing armed crooks and hostages. A simulated raid with flash-bang devices that previously disqualified many candidates who accidentally shot the "hostage" is also gone.

    The new test's only physical challenges are a modest physical fitness qualification and a modified obstacle course. "My preteen daughter could pass that," one officer said. Applicants' scores will now largely come from an oral interview conducted by non-SWAT and non-LAPD supervisors. In essence, the test is largely subjective.....

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    I took a rifle class from an old LAPD hand. He told me that one of the problems they had in selecting personnel was finding ones that were aggressive enough. They routinely role played situations, including one where a candidate would come into a room to find a perp standing over a cop and shooting him while he lay on the ground. All officers who did anything other than shoot the perp were washed from the training.

    In simunitions training, I've watched guys who talked the talk make every mistake possible. There was even one (I didn't see it happen) who surrendered to a man who pointed a gun at him. He holstered his weapon and raised his hands.

    The new selection process will probably not bear much fruit.

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