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Sun Jul 13, 2014, 04:26 PM

APD to buy 350-plus AR-15 rifles

New Mexico's largest police department, mired in controversy over the use of excessive force, is about to supply military-style weapons to officers using taxpayer money.

The investigative team at KOB Eyewitness News 4 learned that Albuquerque Police awarded a bid to a local vendor for the purchase of AR-15 rifles -- the type of gun used to kill James Boyd in the foothills in March.

According to the request for bid, which ended two weeks ago, the department would likely purchase 350 guns in the first year of a two-year contract. Thereafter, it would order quantities of 50 as necessary.

"You're asking for trouble, in my opinion," Peter Simonson, Executive Director of the ACLU of New Mexico said."

Simonson was unaware of the department's purchasing plans until KOB contacted him. He thought APD was moving away from using high-powered weapons after the Department of Justice said APD officers have a "pattern and practice" of using excessive and deadly force.

"I think it sends a contradictory message to the public, and I think it should raise concerns about how seriously they're actually taking the DOJ reforms," he said."

http://www.kob.com/article/stories/s3499057.shtml#.U7_vB_ldXKh

17 replies, 1967 views

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Reply APD to buy 350-plus AR-15 rifles (Original post)
damnedifIknow Jul 2014 OP
WhiteTara Jul 2014 #1
blkmusclmachine Jul 2014 #2
NightWatcher Jul 2014 #3
Lee-Lee Jul 2014 #4
Jenoch Jul 2014 #5
nomorenomore08 Jul 2014 #12
Savannahmann Jul 2014 #14
Lee-Lee Jul 2014 #15
Savannahmann Jul 2014 #16
conservaphobe Jul 2014 #6
mwrguy Jul 2014 #7
damnedifIknow Jul 2014 #11
MineralMan Jul 2014 #8
damnedifIknow Jul 2014 #10
rollin74 Jul 2014 #9
IronGate Jul 2014 #13
aikoaiko Jul 2014 #17

Response to damnedifIknow (Original post)

Sun Jul 13, 2014, 04:46 PM

1. This will end badly. nt

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Response to damnedifIknow (Original post)

Sun Jul 13, 2014, 04:59 PM

2. I have seen the enemy, and he is us.

 

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Response to damnedifIknow (Original post)

Sun Jul 13, 2014, 05:03 PM

3. maybe they're holdinga big raffle at a church?

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Response to damnedifIknow (Original post)

Sun Jul 13, 2014, 05:32 PM

4. Honestly I see no issue

 

When I was a deputy I had an AR-15 in my trunk. For any kind of active shooter response or standoff it is far better than a handgun or shotgun.

My department issued shotguns, if we wanted to carry an AR-15 we had to buy our own (sergeants and above had them issued if they wanted) and the department would provide magazines, ammo and magazine pouches.

I am not a big person, and with the far lower recoil I was much more accurate with an AR, and a lot more comfortable.

Odds are those 350 AR-15's will go to replace 350 shotguns. This is a natural evolution in the LE world, and actually one you should want.

Compared to a shotgun, and AR-15 is a lot easier to master, meaning when they need to use it the officers will be more capable of being accurate and effective and not causing collateral damage. They are a lot easier for smaller shooters, especially female officers, to master. They are much more accurate and far less likely to send projectiles past the target into something else than a shotgun that spreads large lead pellets out in a wide pattern.

I know the knees-jerk reaction here is "OMG AR-15" but there is really no reason to oppose it. Here are your 3 options:

Handguns only- this means officers are restricted to sidearms that are effective out to about 50-75 feet, at best, and that is iffy under stress. They will not penetrate body armor and are difficult to make precise shots with past about 50 feet, especially under stress. While fine for many things, not good for response to an active shooter situation like a school shooting, not good for a hostage standoff, etc.

Next choice is shotguns- likely what they have now. Loaded with buckshot they are effective to about 35-40 yards, but even at that range the shot spreads. They showed is in school that a good rule of thumb is your buckshot spread about 1" per yard, so at 35 yards the buckshot is out in about a 3 foot circle. Not ideal, because any pellets that don't strike the target go on to something else. Recoil is heavy, making it harder to master and be effective with. Better for active shooter situations than a pistol, but not ideal when there may be a shooter with bystanders or victims in close proximity.

Then there is the AR-15. Since it is a rifle it just shoots one .22 inch bullet per shot instead of a dozen or so pellets like the shotgun. It is very accurate and easy to master, I could have any of you hitting a pie plate at 100 yards with minimal instruction. Much more likely to hit the intended target and much less likely to also send projectiles past it either from a miss or from the wide spread a shotgun has.

So, your choice is an option that leaves officer with only handguns, making them ineffective in bad scenarios, leaving them with shotguns now that are much less accurate and likely to also hit bystanders when used, or the most accurate and effective tool that is least likely to miss and doesn't shoot a dozen or so projectiles in a wide pattern when fired.

I would rather officers responding to an active shooter next to my house have a rifle than a shotgun any day of the week. But that's just my option based on actually having carried both on the job.

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Response to Lee-Lee (Reply #4)

Sun Jul 13, 2014, 06:22 PM

5. You are placing facts in the way of fear and hyperbole.

 

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Response to Lee-Lee (Reply #4)

Sun Jul 13, 2014, 10:22 PM

12. I understand. But my thinking is more along the lines of post #6. n/t

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Response to Lee-Lee (Reply #4)

Sun Jul 13, 2014, 10:49 PM

14. Really? I mean that seriously.

 

Let's talk ballistics shall we?" The AR-15 fires the 5.56mm round. The maximum effective range is about 800 Meters, or yards if you prefer. The maximum range for the standard round is 3,600 meters. That is close to three quarters of a mile. I can't find the range of the .40 cal pistol, the standard used pistol of the cops, but I did find 9mm, and astonishingly, it is only 1,800 Meters. That is about half as far that the bullet that misses the target could conceivably hurt someone.

So if while you are using it in a stressful situation, chances are that you are missing your target, historically the military in Iraq, who one would assume are just as well trained as a police officer in shooting situations, fired 250,000 rounds per kill. http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/world-news/us-forced-to-import-bullets-from-israel-as-troops-use-250000-for-every-rebel-killed-28580666.html

On the other hand, shotgun patterns spread out, and that means that even if your aim is not exact, you're more likely to hit the suspect with at least part of the pattern of buckshot than you are from the single round from your safer rifle. That means while you would have more projectiles in the air from a single shot, you may only have to fire one shot to stop the suspect. That shot would not travel more than 3,000 meters. It would not penetrate body armor, but how many of your suspects are wearing body armor these days? I only ask because in all my travels around town I'm not noticing such things, and I'm wondering if I should be considering buying some from ebay or whatever.

So we can pretty much assume that you won't be firing one shot, one kill like in the movies if it is a real situation. Florida cops were in the news for firing 377 rounds at two unarmed men. I'll skip the unarmed bit, and go with the 377 rounds to stop two people for this discussion. So giving them a round that can travel up to three quarters of a mile away is not something I feel terribly comfortable with. Not when the boys in blue are firing rounds like they are in a competition to see who can empty their magazine first.

So far, I'm leaning towards the pistol, as it seems to be less dangerous to those of us around the police officer when he misses the target, which he probably will.

But let's look at penetration. Depending on the type of ammunition you use, the penetration from a 5.56 rifle would be significantly more than a pistol or even buckshot. You said yourself, that the rifle will go through body armor. So my question is this. After you miss the target, a certainty to be honest, how many apartments are at risk when your "safer" rifle blasts through as it continues on it's merry way? Obviously pistol rounds being unable to penetrate the aforementioned body armor would not go through as many apartments right?

OK, so we've seen that your "safer" choice isn't so safe after all. At least not for the rest of us. Those of us downrange from the scene of the shooting. So how about in those active shooter situations? Perhaps your suggestion is that the lunatic Adam Lanza could be stopped by a cop with a rifle. OK, let's talk about the wisdom of even considering charging into a school full of kids where the lunatic has a rifle just like the one you're talking about all the cops having, spraying rounds about. I'm not so comfortable with the idea of 5.56 rounds going through the walls as the police blast away in the school with an assault rifle that is almost certainly fully automatic capable.

Now, here's the facts. Violent Crime is at an all time low. http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/06/11/12170947-fbi-violent-crime-rates-in-the-us-drop-approach-historic-lows?lite

30 police officers died from gunfire in 2013. http://www.odmp.org/search/year?year=2013

I count 45 people killed by police in January 2013. I didn't bother to count the rest of the year, I enjoyed my dinner the first time, I doubt that I'd like it the second time I tasted it. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_killings_by_law_enforcement_officers_in_the_United_States_2013

Perhaps you'll feel like counting them all.

So more people were killed by police in January 2013 than police officers who died by gunfire during the entire year. Factually speaking still, a police officer is more likely to die in an automobile related incident, crash, struck by driver, assaulted by driver, and pursuit crashes, than death by gunfire. Again, these are the facts. So instead of buying all the cops one of these "safer" rifles that turns out to be far from safe, why don't we figure out a way to get the cops to wear seat belts. I used to drive cross country trucks. I almost never saw a cop wearing a seat belt, Perhaps that is why they are dying in otherwise minor and survivable auto accidents.

In summation. The Safer rifle is more dangerous. It's more dangerous to bystanders, and people behind the individual being shot at for a much longer distance. It's more dangerous further down the apartment complex, as the rifle round will penetrate far more walls before stopping than the pistol or shotgun rounds. The Shotgun has a built in error correction in the pattern spread, that the rifle or pistol does not have. Finally, with falling violent crime rates, I have to wonder why our police are equipping up to a point that our soldiers are drooling with envy at the quality of equipment that you guys are toting about? We aren't talking about a response to some crime spree, nor about how to react to a massive increase in crime rates. Crime is down, and the obvious question is if there are fewer violent criminals, why do you need a state of the art Rambo mark nine battle rifle that is the envy of the soldiers in the actual army?

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Response to Savannahmann (Reply #14)

Mon Jul 14, 2014, 05:19 AM

15. You are off the mark in many ways.

 

First, your citing of that ridiculous figure about US troops firing 250,000 rounds per insurgent killed. Because the authors of that article didn't account for the fact that the vast majority of rounds fired by the US Military during that period were fired stateside, in training. By assuming every round purchased during this period was fired in combat in Iraq both you and the author of that piece undermine your credibility.

Second, your idea that cops shouldn't go after school shooters with a rifle is ridiculous. A rifle, or actually a carbine, is the most effective and preferred weapon for an active shooter response. Hell yes cops should go after a school shooter with the most effective, easist to use weapons available. And they should do it without delay or hesitation- first 2-4 officers on scene should immediately move in as a team and confront the shooter as quickly and aggressively as possible. To claim it is foolish shows you have have done any sort of training at all on active shooter response.

Over penetration? Not an issue if you buy proper ammunition. That is one reason why my department allowed us to buy an AR if we wanted it but only allowed us to use ammunition they certified and provided. In reality properly made fragile or fragmenting ammunition from an AR-15 will have less lethal penetration through walls than either the pistol ammo of buckshot. In fact we carried 4 magazines of the fragile ammo and only two of the standard FMJ, with an SOP that FMJ only came out in specific circumstances. The .40 rounds we carried would go through many layers of drywall, and multiple cinder blocks in range demonstrations. The .223 frangible rounds we carried would go through one block or piece of drywall but by the time it exited would be in multiple pieces and tumbling so that the fragments didn't have enough energy left to go through much else and usually were stopped by the second layer of drywall. The fragments might hurt a person, but are very unlikely to be lethal at that point. And it still would penetrate soft body armor better than buckshot or a pistol.

You cite dropping violent crime as evidence that these rifles are not needed. Yet you fail to consider that most departments already have these kinds of rifles- so maybe part of the cause of falling crime is the new adaptation of better tools by departments. That argument can go both ways.

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Response to Lee-Lee (Reply #15)

Mon Jul 14, 2014, 09:58 AM

16. Oh, so the mere presence of a weapon in your car is a deterrence?

 

Then all those RW propaganda pieces about how the presence of concealed weapons, or even better yet, open carry must be a great deterrence too. Because during the period that crime was dropping, many states enacted concealed carry laws. So perhaps it's the concealed carry laws that are causing the drop in violent crime. Then again, the adaptation of ethanol in gasoline became wide spread right before the last peak of violent crime, so perhaps it is the presence of ethanol that caused the drop in violent crime.

The argument that the rifle is the preferred weapon in active shooter situations is also problematic. The example I sited with the famed school shooting scenario. In that situation, a rifle is not the best weapon, because to open doors you have to take one hand from the rifle, thus loosing all the accuracy you claim is the most important advantage of the rifle. Then you discuss frangible ammunition. So why not load the pistols with similar ammunition? There are frangible ammunition for the pistols.

But let's do a test. How fast can you turn a corner inside of a building with a rifle? How fast can you turn the same corner with a pistol? Answer? The pistol is the preferred weapon in clearing a house. The tactics being used by the police were developed by the military who were handicapped by the fact that every soldier did not have a pistol, but every soldier did have a rifle. It is called MOUT, or Military Operations in Urban Terrain. It is not called Law Enforcement in the 21st Century.

What really happens is that police use these rifles like pistols, firing round after round, endangering people for three quarters of a mile in any direction. Let's look at some highlights of the great AR rifle in actual action. Not the fantasy excuse stuff mentioned to justify them by police, and RW lunatics who buy the same rifle to fight the government.



A lot of rounds being fired. Were those police not taking advantage of the superior accuracy of the weapon? The fact that the guy in the boat was without a single bullet to be fired, and the police were all "returning fire" we don't know who fired the first round.

This guy was armed with a pistol, and a bolt action rifle. This active shooter situation was responded to with restraint and concern for something, perhaps the public was somewhere on the list of concerns. Way down the list.



These people do not need more firepower. They need to learn how to restrain themselves.



Before you tell everyone of the awesome training of the police to de-escalate the violence.

http://www.nbc-2.com/story/25972989/lee-county-deputies-investigating-possible-shooting

As demonstrated in the previous post, the chances of the public dying at the hands of police is much higher, by a factor of at least ten, than the police getting killed. The police have argued successfully in court that they have no constitutional duty to protect the public. The argument was made when the police who had the awesome guns, couldn't be bothered to rescue children in the hands of a homicidal parent.

So again, why is it that you need the Rambo mark nine super soldier fully automatic assault rifle? In situations where a rifle would be needed, a bolt action rifle is more accurate still with the use of a telescopic sight. A shotgun loaded with birdshot would penetrate pretty much no wallboard, brick, or concrete.

If the police showed restraint with these rifles when they are actually used, minimizing the numbers of rounds fired, instead of working to fire as many as possible, I might be tempted to agree with you. But the problem is that when Police break out the Rambo signature model, they grab hundreds of rounds of ammunition. You said you were issued six magazines of ammunition. Thirty rounds times six magazines comes to one hundred and eighty rounds per rifle. If you have a single active shooter that you have to shoot 180 times, then you are fighting The Terminator, and your rifle ain't going to cut it. You might want to find some sort of bomb, or a huge stamping press, or a foundry with melted steel. Better yet, just ask the director what you are supposed to do because you've wondered onto a movie studio soundstage and have been shooting the special effects designers pride and joy.

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Response to damnedifIknow (Original post)

Sun Jul 13, 2014, 06:24 PM

6. Their firepower has to match the unregulated citizenry.

 

No issue here, except for the reason they need them in the first place.

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Response to damnedifIknow (Original post)

Sun Jul 13, 2014, 06:31 PM

7. Police need to be on an equal footing with all these gun nuts

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Response to mwrguy (Reply #7)

Sun Jul 13, 2014, 10:12 PM

11. I see



So what are we to make of these stats? Does it make you feel any differently about the direction we are heading? Personally I blame the news media. The corporations that own the “news” have increasingly applied their entertainment business model to the news division. This has been the case with the national news but in many cases the local news is just as guilty. It means more emphasis on the sensational stories that include crime and violence.

As I’ve shown, crime is not worse now compared to 20 and 30 years ago. In fact, it’s much improved"

http://leftcall.com/4557/u-s-crime-rates-1960-2010-the-facts-might-surprise-you/

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Response to damnedifIknow (Original post)

Sun Jul 13, 2014, 06:36 PM

8. Just about every police department in the US

has AR-15s. So do millions of civilians. I'm not sure why you think they are worse than the other firearms police departments use. Can you explain?

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #8)

Sun Jul 13, 2014, 09:51 PM

10. Seems the police chief thinks this isn't a grand idea

A U.S. Department of Justice report cited Albuquerque police in April for engaging in a “pattern and practice” of using excessive force, and Police Chief Gorden Eden told officers the following month they could no longer carry their personal weapons – including AR-15s – in the field.

The DOJ report found officers would purchase expensive weapons they viewed as “status symbols.”

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/07/11/highly-criticized-albuquerque-police-militarize-with-350000-purchase-of-350-ar-15-rifles/

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Response to damnedifIknow (Original post)

Sun Jul 13, 2014, 06:43 PM

9. most cops have AR-15s in the trunk of their patrol units in my area

I really don't think that this is unusual

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Response to damnedifIknow (Original post)

Sun Jul 13, 2014, 10:45 PM

13. Non story.

 

Just about every law enforcement agency now equips their officers with AR-15's, hell, even the BLM and USFS do so.

There are millions of those AR-15's in civilian hands also, the AR platform is the most popular rifle in the US today.

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Response to damnedifIknow (Original post)

Mon Jul 14, 2014, 10:08 AM

17. Rifle > Shotgun > Pistol, generally speaking


There are situations where pistols or shotguns are better suited, but when faced with the situation of shooting defensively, I'd prefer a AR-type rifle.

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