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Letter to the editor: Police department doesn't need more weapons

Mountain View police vehicles are lined up outside the station during MVPD's open house on Aug. 10, 2013. Photo by Michelle Le.

I am a young Black woman who lives in Mountain View. Though our police department is very important to our safety, I feel as though the proposed budget increase for new weaponry is completely unnecessary, especially at this time in our country.

The police are already doing a fantastic job protecting our city, and expanding their weaponry is not going to improve their already fantastic work. We do not need to militarize the Mountain View police force. Instead, put that money into community outreach. I listened to Police Chief Max Bosel in the recent Human Relations Committee meeting speak about how the police department is going to focus on community outreach and improve the relationship between the police and the Mountain View community. Militarizing the police force is doing the exact opposite of improving that relationship. As a person of color, militarizing our police force doesn’t make me feel safer, it actually makes me more afraid of the police. I already feel as though I need to be careful about interacting with police, as it is the sad truth that among the many great, amazing officers, there are bad ones out there, and as a Black person, I truly never know which officer I will encounter: One who is there to protect me with their life, or one who will cause me harm.

It only takes one interaction with a bad police officer to derail my life as I know it, and though thankfully I have never met a racist or vicious Mountain View police officer, it does not mean there isn’t one out there. I beg of you, please use this extra money in a productive way that will benefit the police and civilian relationship, that will ultimately result in long term, positive results. Instead of using this money for weapons, use it for the benefit of our city.

JaneAnne Arnone

Middlefield Road

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Letter to the editor: Police department doesn't need more weapons

by / Mountain View Voice

Uploaded: Sat, Jun 20, 2020, 8:32 am

I am a young Black woman who lives in Mountain View. Though our police department is very important to our safety, I feel as though the proposed budget increase for new weaponry is completely unnecessary, especially at this time in our country.

The police are already doing a fantastic job protecting our city, and expanding their weaponry is not going to improve their already fantastic work. We do not need to militarize the Mountain View police force. Instead, put that money into community outreach. I listened to Police Chief Max Bosel in the recent Human Relations Committee meeting speak about how the police department is going to focus on community outreach and improve the relationship between the police and the Mountain View community. Militarizing the police force is doing the exact opposite of improving that relationship. As a person of color, militarizing our police force doesn’t make me feel safer, it actually makes me more afraid of the police. I already feel as though I need to be careful about interacting with police, as it is the sad truth that among the many great, amazing officers, there are bad ones out there, and as a Black person, I truly never know which officer I will encounter: One who is there to protect me with their life, or one who will cause me harm.

It only takes one interaction with a bad police officer to derail my life as I know it, and though thankfully I have never met a racist or vicious Mountain View police officer, it does not mean there isn’t one out there. I beg of you, please use this extra money in a productive way that will benefit the police and civilian relationship, that will ultimately result in long term, positive results. Instead of using this money for weapons, use it for the benefit of our city.

JaneAnne Arnone

Middlefield Road

Comments

Ishihara
Whisman Station
on Jun 20, 2020 at 8:47 am
Ishihara, Whisman Station
on Jun 20, 2020 at 8:47 am
9 people like this

“I am a young Black”
“As a person of color”
“as a Black person”
“I have never met a racist”
What is the point of repeating that you have a specific skin color, especially in such multiracial place as Mountain View?


Gary
Sylvan Park
on Jun 20, 2020 at 9:31 am
Gary, Sylvan Park
on Jun 20, 2020 at 9:31 am
2 people like this

The main functions of the police department are to deter and otherwise forestall crime, to investigate crimes and to arrest and report. Weapons are needed. Not nukes. Big money for big weapons could be wasteful. We would need to know the specifics. Because of the job given to the department, it must be somewhat militaristic. People do wear where signs revealing who they are or whether they are criminals, terrorists, preachers or teachers. The police need to sort out every situation. At the same time, we expect them to be friendly and respectful and helpful. If we move toward actual oversight of police administrators and officers, we may learn more about how they can be made better. As it stands in Mountain View, the police chief calls the shots, so to speak, and answers only to the city manager (who may know little about police work) and sometimes to prosecutors. I have never noticed a candidate for city council in Mountain View say a word about the police - except to note a local police (union) endorsement. On June 26, the county Board of Supervisors is considering some ideas for improving the county sheriff's department. Its meetings are online. Take a look. I email in my two cents worth already.


are you a Nail?
St. Francis Acres
on Jun 20, 2020 at 9:58 am
are you a Nail?, St. Francis Acres
on Jun 20, 2020 at 9:58 am
5 people like this

> Weapons are needed.

If all ya have is a hammer....


Kamila
Cuernavaca
on Jun 20, 2020 at 10:13 am
Kamila, Cuernavaca
on Jun 20, 2020 at 10:13 am
27 people like this

I believe the the commentator missed the purpose of the “budget” hearing. The chief made it very clear. These are not new additional weapons but replacement so that law enforcement is prepared in the event the worst case incident happens here or nearby. What is that incident - Active Shooters. No matter how much any groups think that early warnings or consulars are going to prevent an event like this then that just shows one how narrow focused they are. Police need these weapons with them because no one knows where the lone gunman will appear.

1 Las Vegas shooting -2017 - 58 Killed
2 Orlando nightclub shooting - 2016 - 49 Killed
3 Virginia Tech shooting - 2007 - 32 Killed
4 Sandy Hook Elementary School -2012 - 27 Killed
5 Sutherland Springs church shooting -2017 - 26 Killed
6 Luby's shooting - 1991 -23 Killed
7. El Paso Walmart shooting - 2019 - 23 Killed
8 San Ysidro McDonald's massacre - 1984- 21 Killed
9 Stoneman Douglas High School shooting - 2018 -17 Killed
10 University of Texas tower shooting - 1966- 16 Killed
11 Edmond post office shooting - 1986 - 14 Killed
12. San Bernardino attack - 2015 -14 Killed
13. Fort Hood shooting - 2009 - 14 Killed
14 Camden shootings - 1949 - 13 Killed
15. Wilkes-Barre shootings - 1982 - 13 Killed
16. Wah Mee massacre - 1983 - 13 Killed
17. Columbine High School massacre -1999 - 13 Killed
18. Binghamton shootings -2009 - 13 Killed
19 Atlanta shootings -1999 -12 Killed
20. Aurora theater shooting - 2012 - 12 Killed

I could go on but these are the big ones and why you want police to have weapons so they can end a shooting spreed sooner than later. Growing up in the Middle East and then having the opportunity move to America I have never been afraid of the police. I am afraid of the average looking person that has lost touch with the world and decides to take out their anger on all of.

Thank You to all the police officers that rush in to safe us despite race, sex, religion or sexual orientation.


Related article in today's New York Times
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jun 20, 2020 at 11:26 am
Related article in today's New York Times, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jun 20, 2020 at 11:26 am
10 people like this

Related article in today's New York Times: Web Link
Excerpt:
Despite decades of community policing efforts, many of the nation’s police academies and 18,000 departments have long emphasized a warrior mentality, with officers trained for battle and equipped with the gear and weapons of modern warfare, she said.

“If you train cops like soldiers, dress them like soldiers and equip them like soldiers, you can’t be surprised that they act like soldiers, and that’s exactly what we’ve done,” said Mr. Shrewsberry, of the Institute for Criminal Justice Training Reform. The training imbalance, he said, reinforces a “thin blue line” police culture perpetuated in many departments by higher-ups and unions. “There’s just this constant reiteration that cops are in constant danger,” he said.


If you want to dismantle racism, you have to name race
Willowgate
on Jun 20, 2020 at 1:48 pm
If you want to dismantle racism, you have to name race, Willowgate
on Jun 20, 2020 at 1:48 pm
5 people like this

@Ishihara: If you want to dismantle racism, you have to name race - that's why I think the author of this letter tells us she is Black.
When "Black people in California were stopped by police officers much more frequently than other racial groups in 2018, and police were more likely to use force against them, new statistics from eight large law enforcement agencies in the state reveal." and "black people are much more likely to have firearms pointed at them by police officers. They also are more likely to be detained, handcuffed and searched" (source: Web Link) and then add to that the fact that police in the US since 2015 have fatally shot Black people at more than double the rate of white people and Latinx people at nearly twice the rate of white people (see graph: Web Link).


Ishihara
North Whisman
on Jun 20, 2020 at 2:33 pm
Ishihara, North Whisman
on Jun 20, 2020 at 2:33 pm
19 people like this

“Black people in California were stopped by police officers much more frequently”
Read this.
Web Link
How would it be possible for an ethnic group to have higher crime rate but have lower rate of interactions with a police?


are you a Nail?
St. Francis Acres
on Jun 20, 2020 at 2:38 pm
are you a Nail?, St. Francis Acres
on Jun 20, 2020 at 2:38 pm
10 people like this

> How would it be possible for an ethnic group to have higher crime rate but have lower rate of interactions with a police?

So many holes in that.

Honestly - do you believe what you're peddling because you haven't pout any thought into the reasons (or read further;) or do you believe it because you *want* to believe it?


Ishihara
North Whisman
on Jun 20, 2020 at 2:55 pm
Ishihara, North Whisman
on Jun 20, 2020 at 2:55 pm
19 people like this

“So many holes in that.”
Name one. But no, no arguments from you, just some weak attempt to insult.


Come on
Old Mountain View
on Jun 20, 2020 at 3:56 pm
Come on, Old Mountain View
on Jun 20, 2020 at 3:56 pm
3 people like this

@Ishihara - Gee, I wonder how a higher rate of crime correlates to a higher rate of stops...

You can’t justify this stat without using logic that involves racism.


Thank you
Shoreline West
on Jun 20, 2020 at 4:01 pm
Thank you, Shoreline West
on Jun 20, 2020 at 4:01 pm
5 people like this

We are a community that is peaceful largely because we are well-resourced... not well-policed. Do we need money to replace rifles? What is the lifetime of a rifle anyway, and if we need to replace them, what kind of crappy rifles are we buying in the first place? Do we really need drones and 3D scanning of crime scenes in Mountain View?

I hope we can make Mountain View the kind of place where you can feel safe to walk around, take a jog, go to the store, and even sleep at night.


To clarify
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jun 20, 2020 at 6:16 pm
To clarify, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jun 20, 2020 at 6:16 pm
5 people like this

Chief Bosel said they bought the original AR-15s 20yrs ago but no one in MVPD has fired a weapon since then. Now he wants to replace the old ones (which were never used) AND increase stock so that instead of a few officers carrying rifles, every cop car will have an AR-15. I really don’t see a reason why they need to replace weapons that have never been used. I lived through an active shooter threat during college and more guns did not make me feel safer. Because even after the threat was gone (the active shooter killed himself), there were still almost 50 SWAT/police officers with AR-15s pointing them at students trying to leave a building where we had been in lockdown for 4hrs. MVPD: please do not bring more guns into our community.


Gladys
Old Mountain View
on Jun 20, 2020 at 7:12 pm
Gladys, Old Mountain View
on Jun 20, 2020 at 7:12 pm
23 people like this

If a bad guy comes to Mountain View, with a gun, he is going to run into law enforcement who has the necessary tools to effectively and as fast as possible to put down that threat.

A bad guy who knows that officers in any city that only has pea shooters for weapons, he knows that they will be easier targets.

If that bad guy comes to the back of my house, who do you think I am going to call? and do you not think that officer wants the best tool to protect the public and himself so he can go home at the end of his shift to his family.

What ever they need, give it to them. Do not bring politics or race into this subject.


Ishihara
Sylvan Park
on Jun 20, 2020 at 7:41 pm
Ishihara, Sylvan Park
on Jun 20, 2020 at 7:41 pm
14 people like this

“Gee, I wonder how a higher rate of crime correlates to a higher rate of stops“
No need to wonder anymore, I’ll help you.
If crime is committed and witness describes the perpetrator as a young tall man, it is logical for the police not to stop any old short women.
But if you were a policemen, no old short women would been safe, you wouldn’t want to have a disproportionate number of men stopped, would you?


Mark
Monta Loma
on Jun 20, 2020 at 9:02 pm
Mark, Monta Loma
on Jun 20, 2020 at 9:02 pm
13 people like this

Police dept.s need to stop hiring so many goons and bullies, and stop seeing themselves as military occupiers of a free nation.


Korbin
Cuernavaca
on Jun 21, 2020 at 7:57 am
Korbin , Cuernavaca
on Jun 21, 2020 at 7:57 am
18 people like this

@to clarify - I believe the police chief was saying they haven’t had to use the weapons in a shooting situation. That doesn’t mean that the police department has not trained with theM for the last twenty years. Which means they have been used a lot and overtime a weapon will breakdown. Just like your vehicle. You can fix it all you want but at some point it will be Beyond repair.

So for those that have served this country in the military know that each person needs a weapon that is issued to them and only them. Why? Cause it has to sited to them. Police officers should not be firing randomly as if in a war situation but are issued these weapons so they can attempt to stop a threat and not hit you or family.

I would be curious to know which college shooting you were present at. Those police officers that came to safe everyone and pointing their weapons at people were making sure the threat was not still present. When ones runs in they don’t know who is a threat and who is just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Let’s be clear. Our police don’t look, act or dress like a military infantry. That is a weak argument and is used by those with an agenda to push their ideology.


Factoid
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jun 21, 2020 at 10:04 am
Factoid, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jun 21, 2020 at 10:04 am
18 people like this

@Thank you
About 17,000 rounds of ammunition fire, you'll have to check springs and barrel,etc. At that point, a decision is made to repair or replace. Weapons training consumes many rounds of ammunition. Like your cell phone, it's better to replace than repair (more cost effective), all things being equal. I'm guessing you do not have a 20 year old cell phone, washer, dryer, or refrigerator. Proper weapons training is "Extremely" important and MVPD is a very well trained public safety agency.


justaworkingstiff
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jun 22, 2020 at 4:15 pm
justaworkingstiff, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jun 22, 2020 at 4:15 pm
12 people like this

The editorial writer missed a few points:
1) These are replacement, rifles, not additional rifles
2) Rifles are fired for practice at the firing range, and wear
out after 20 years. That is why they are being replaced

Here is one local and 2 national events drove police departments to upgrade their weapons and armor. The editorial writer probably is unaware of these events:

Around 1989 at the corner of Franklin and Sutter (I think) a SFPD officer was killed in the line of duty. He died while reloading his old-fashioned revolver while up against a gunman with a fully automatic AK-47 with full body armor. In front of where I ate lunch everyday for my first job. This lead to the all SFPD officers using semi-automatic pistols to upgrade their fire power. Other events which lead to upgraded weapon of the police included 1988 Miami FBI shoot out; 5 out of 8 FBI agents were shot, 3 dead because the gunman had a semi-automatic rifle firing .223 rounds. In 1997, at the North Hollywood Bank of America, about 10 out of 50 responding officers where shot, along with 7 civilians. The 2 gunman had fully automatic AK -47s with full body armor. The police 9mm bullets bounced off their armor. They had no rifles; shotguns ineffective. The had to borrow an armored car to evacuate the wounded, who were bleeding out and dying. The local police had no armored vehicles. They had to borrow high powered rifles and ammo from a local gun store. After that, all sergeants were issued used M-16s they bought from the military. And this is only part of the story. Post 9/11 it became more urgent. I paid attention to the BofA case since I used to routinely enter a heavily defended BofA facility nearby and I thought they were getting hit. Nowadays, I'd say "gee, I am being greeted by a Shotgun and a revolver, how cute and quaint, can I pet them?", because these are out of date compared to what the criminals are carrying.



Vijay Gupta
Cuesta Park
on Jun 25, 2020 at 10:45 am
Vijay Gupta, Cuesta Park
on Jun 25, 2020 at 10:45 am
2 people like this

[Post removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language]




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