Mod­ern­iza­tion, not mil­i­ta­riza­tion

PressReader - BRUCE_CAROL_ROWE Channel - Mod­ern­iza­tion, not mil­i­ta­riza­tion
Re: New patches a sign of po­lice mil­i­ta­riza­tion, Opin­ion, Jan. 23Cana­dian Po­lice Ser­vices con­tinue to mod­ern­ize, which Cather­ine Ford has mis­taken for mil­i­ta­riza­tion. Forty years ago, of­fi­cers car­ried leather lead saps. We now carry tasers, use com­put­ers in our cars, wear cam­eras and em­ploy he­li­copters with spe­cial­ized equip­ment, mak­ing us more ef­fec­tive and the ci­ti­zens safer (no­tice I didn’t say civil­ians).Ford says that go­ing to “ag­gres­sive black” cars is part of the “mil­i­ta­riza­tion” of polic­ing. Last I checked, green or grey is the colour of choice for the mil­i­tary. I’m far less con­cerned about the colour of the ve­hi­cle than I am of the qual­ity of the per­son who gets out of it.The use of the tac­ti­cal unit (we don’t re­fer to it as SWAT here in Canada) is de­ter­mined by eval­u­at­ing the threat level of each call. Once a cer­tain level is reached, the tac­ti­cal unit is au­to­mat­i­cally de­ployed. These are not “rou­tine calls,” as stated in her com­men­tary. Any­thing but.The 2,200 of­fi­cers of the Cal­gary Po­lice Ser­vice are an arm of this com­mu­nity, not the arm of an op­pres­sive state. They come to work with the goal of mak­ing ci­ti­zens com­fort­able and safe in the com­mu­nity we all live in.Ford has taken ran­dom chunks of in­for­ma­tion and twisted them to fit a rad­i­cal anti-po­lice nar­ra­tive.Les Kaminski, pres­i­dent, Cal­gary Po­lice As­so­ci­a­tion

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