Saturday, May 17, 2008

CHICAGO COPS TURN INTO MILITARY FORCE

ABC Chicago's top cop revealed some new strategies to fight crime in the city-- adding semi-automatic weapons, an armor-plated vehicle, and full SWAT dress in crime hot spots. . . Part of the strategy includes deploying SWAT team members and other specialized officers in full battle dress to crime hot spots. The measure began last month and will continue. Critics believe it to be cosmetic and meant to intimidate. . .

"I don't want people to think we're going into war, but I think it does send a strong message. If they're in SWAT-type uniform and you're driving through the neighborhood visible, interacting with neighbors and community members, it sends a strong message and serves as a deterrent to violence," said Supt. Jody Weis, Chicago Police Department.

Weis is also moving ahead with plans to equip - within the next three years - all 1,700 of the department's patrol cars with M-4 carbines, a semi-automatic rifle that SWAT team members now carry. Putting them in squads will require training for every officer authorized to use an M-4. . .

The police also showed off a 'bearcat,' a 16,000 pound, armor-plated, bomb-protected vehicle meant to deliver SWAT team members into destinations under fire.

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