Until yesterday I had never viewed any of A&E’s Dallas SWAT reality show. Last night I caught about 15 minutes of one episode. This 1/4 hour of television showed much of what is wrong with law enforcement. Here is what went down on Dallas SWAT.
Home Invasion Search
The SWAT team was preparing to arrest a woman on an outstanding drug warrant. The house was known to have children inside. SWAT members formulated a plan to rip the door off the house and storm the residence.
A&E showed only a few minutes of home invasion raid preparation. SWAT members discuss how best to rip the door off, where Alpha/Brave/Charlie team should be, and what to do when they find the kids. No one proposes that maybe, just maybe, ripping the door off house full of children and sending a militarized police force is not the best idea.
Most people I know eventually leave their residence. Why not just wait for this suspect to leave then arrest her? This wait and arrest approach is not as ecxiting as the Rainbow Six approach. But why create a dangerous situation where none exists? Yet another example of the shift from Peace Officers to Law Enforcement. It appears that having a SWAT team obligates SWAT home invasion raids.
A Better Use for SWAT
I also caught an appropriate use of the Dallas SWAT team. A man was in his apartment and threatening to kill himself. He had a gun and may have shot at officers (I missed the beginning). The police used tear gas, and sent in a team to apprehend a disturbed and violent man. Stopping those who pose an immediate threat to the public is a much better strategy than creating threats by storming houses.
Johnny Baker- Cosmic Irony Strikes Back
Finally, the show also contained a segment of Officer Johnny Baker and his love of motorcycle riding. Officer Baker spoke about how much he enjoyed the rush of dangerous SWAT work.
What escaped Officer Baker at that moment was the cosmic irony of his alleged enjoyment of commercial sex services.
Officer Baker was later fired. Consensual crime enforcement giveth Officer Baker a job, consensual crime enforcement taketh away.