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Ask LEO a question

LEO 229

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I will entertain all questions regarding police procedures here. Keep it friendly and I willanswer all valid questions. This is your chance to understand why the police do... what they do. :D

Please keep it friendly....
 

LEO 229

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Hawkflyer wrote:


As a citizen of the Manassas area I am also concerned that the entire MCPD patrol shift is allowed to individually determine that they may leave their assigned patrol area, without any declared emergency, and without regard to protection of the rest of the community, for a situation where the dispatcher has clearly stated that there is no disturbance but is merely requesting a "Check stop" for a single Officer.

Answer:
Officers are not required to stay in there assigned areas. When an officer is assigned a patrol area it identifies WHO is responsibleto answer the callsthere first. Officers are often sent into other areas all the time.

I have known EVERY OFFICER to respond to a call also. This is either because they are bored and had nothing else to do... or the call involved either several people or weapons.

In the Manassas event... It involved several people and the fact that guns were present. Keeping in mind that the group was peaceable and there was no problem....it was not wrong for so many officers to respond.
 

72Malibu

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What should we do, or how should we handle a situation with an LEO who may become aggressive when confronting us about open carrying? Should we just cooperate with requests/demands and take mental notes of everything and later file a complaint or take further action if we feel our rights have been violated?
 

LEO 229

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72Malibu wrote:
What should we do, or how should we handle a situation with an LEO who may become aggressive when confronting us about open carrying? Should we just cooperate with requests/demands and take mental notes of everything and later file a complaint or take further action if we feel our rights have been violated?

When it comes to OC you know the law and you know you are legal so you have the upper hand.

You also know that the LEO may not have been trained by the academy regarding your rights to OC.Be cooperative and polite. This is your chance to educate him in the law.

Eventually... more LEOs will know and responding to OC events will not be a problem. Of course... There will be some that just hate the fact youOCand nothing can be done to change their mind.

As with any contact that is bad... you should take good notes andreport it immediatelyto Internal Affairs.
 

coltcarrier

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How often do you get updates on current hot button laws? The gunlaws change almost annually as do traffic and laws relating to juveniles. Are update clinics offered? Are they mandatory?

I would hope that as an officer placing your life on the line each day, that you would keep abreast of the laws regulating items that hold the largest threat to your survival. Weapon laws seem like they would be at the top of the list.

I would also hope that there would be training to TEACH that opinions need to be left in the locker before putting on the badge. Opinions on what should be legal do not allow you to harass someone because they are doing something you personally disagree with.
 

LEO 229

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coltcarrier wrote:
How often do you get updates on current hot button laws? The gunlaws change almost annually as do traffic and laws relating to juveniles. Are update clinics offered? Are they mandatory?


We have legal updates at the academy during classes we attend. More often.. we get hard copies of law updates and changes in our inbox. At every rollcallwe read a selected state code and talk about it.

We also take time to discuss a current cases that happened or a case that went to court. How the case was won or lost.

The state requires we obtain a certain number of legal and regular hours of academy training every two years.
 

Hawkflyer

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LEO 229 wrote:
Hawkflyer wrote:


As a citizen of the Manassas area I am also concerned that the entire MCPD patrol shift is allowed to individually determine that they may leave their assigned patrol area, without any declared emergency, and without regard to protection of the rest of the community, for a situation where the dispatcher has clearly stated that there is no disturbance but is merely requesting a "Check stop" for a single Officer.

Answer:
Officers are not required to stay in there assigned areas. When an officer is assigned a patrol area it identifies WHO is responsible to answer the calls there first. Officers are often sent into other areas all the time.

I have known EVERY OFFICER to respond to a call also. This is either because they are bored and had nothing else to do... or the call involved either several people or weapons.

In the Manassas event... It involved several people and the fact that guns were present. Keeping in mind that the group was peaceable and there was no problem.... it was not wrong for so many officers to respond.

I clearly see what happened here and I am certain you do as well. I agree that the responding Officers were reacting to three primary elements in the dispatch. 1) Firearms are present, 2) There was a group of armed men involved, 3) A citizen had called 911. I have no problem with the response up to that point, and I would be disappointed if someone was not dispatched to check things out based on only these facts.

But what has not been said (though you hit on it slightly) is that many of these Officers responded so as not to miss involvement in any event that might transpire. I agree that when on general patrol Officers have a high degree of latitude as to where they go, however in this case it is reported that there were 12 responders. No matter how you measure this response, at some point the Officers on the scene had sufficient knowledge and support to handle the situation. While opinions may vary as to the Officer perceived threat, and the required level of response, I do not think that the entire duty shift was required in a situation where the balloon never went up. That said I do not want to appear to be second guessing the first 4 or so Officers that called in. They were reacting to an unknown situation and rolled for backup to the primary.

But as a citizen of the community, I think it is bad policy to allow the entire shift to respond to a call, unless a shots fired or Officer assistance call goes out. The Officer assigned NEVER asked for backup during the initial dispatch. Matching force would certainly be a reasonable response level if the first Officer felt a need for backup at that level. As a police training matter it is bad policy to uncover the entire community without an incident of sufficient priority to justify lowered visibility and coverage.

Suppose this group of men was part of a larger plan to divert police attention to one side of the city while a planned criminal or terrorist action was being executed on the other side of town? By engaging the entire shift in this way the community at large is left unprotected, and response times to other possible events are lengthened. It is bad policy and it is bad policing. The line Officers should not be allowed through individual action to commit the entire shift in this way without approval of a watch commander in the absence of an actual emergency. I do not blame the Officers for this, I blame the watch Commander who allows it to happen.

Regards
 

cato

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Hawkflyer wrote:
That said I do not want to appear to be second guessing the first 4 or so Officers that called in. They were reacting to an unknown situation and rolled for backup to the primary.


As a patrol officer, I will add that in responding to a call (doesn't matter what kind and firearms are not an issue here) and the number of persons I will be contacting is equal to the responders, we(I) consider equal numbers the same as being outnumbered. The number of officers responding to Tony's, in retrospect, appears unreasonable, but if the officers are available I will take as many as want to andcan come. Even if they just drive by my call or wait outside.

Those of uswho accept the honor and responsibilities of a badgeandthe public's trust know how quickly a "non dangerous" even frivolous call can end in tragedy for a department. There are no routine calls. I don't have a problem with the number of officers, I have a problem with the actions once they arrived.

Case in point: a consensual pedestrian contact with no reasonable suspicion other than a hunch. Dispatch will send a back-up unit. If I'm out with 2,dispatch will send 2 back-up units if available. If I'm out with 6,most of the watch will roll on their own just to assist/back-up. Usually, I'll say I'm code 4(OK no helpneeded) beforeall arrive. It's not policy, just practice, because we depend oneach other for our lives and care about each other. That makes for good shift unity.

Things can go south fast, and I knowI might not be here typing if at times I wasn't strongly backed by my shift.Sometimes we are dealing with real bad people. I've been seriouslyhospitalized once and it mayhave been worse if help wasn't as close as it was.

Over whelmingpresence is meant to be a deterrent and calming. AtTony's it wasn't and that rests on theofficers shoulders. If on occasion I've over reacted (not breaking the law or acted rudely mind you), and ruffled the feathers of good citizens, I try to explain at the end of every contact or detention why we responded the way we did. By using this method most then understand, and thank me for explaining. I'm proud to say I have never received a written complaint. I'm I always perfect? No, far from it, I've had plenty of bad days.

thats two more Kopecs for ya.
 

cato

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Towhat extent can dispatchers give advise, interpret the law, or decide to not send officersto a call in VA?
 

LEO 229

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cato wrote:
As a patrol officer, I will add that in responding to a call (doesn't matter what kind and firearms are not an issue here) and the number of persons I will be contacting is equal to the responders, we(I) consider equal numbers the same as being outnumbered.

I forgot to add this but thought about after I left the house. thanks cato.We do not want to be out numbered. :cool:

I understand hawkflyer being upset that the rest of the city is unguarded but the officers have to do it.The officers as a group have a better chance to go home at the end of the shift. A lone officer with no backup is not good!

The thought of criminals using adistraction to get all the officer's in one spot has been done. They also call in bogus calls to see how fast you get there.
 

LEO 229

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cato wrote:
Towhat extent can dispatchers give advise, interpret the law, or decide to not send officersto a call in VA?

We have Officers and Civilian call takers. They do the same as you did on call taking. They determine if it is Fire, Police, or Animal related. They try their best to not have to dispatch an officer and try to handle the call over the phone when possible.

But... if the citizen demands an officer.. even if it is to take out the trash for them... One will be sent. The policy is.... never refuse the citizens request for an officer. A supervisor canalways override and terminate the request.
 

jpwise

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As a former LEO, I agree that having as many officers on a call as possible is a good thing for officer safety. I don't see an issue in the response due to the number of people involved and the fact that firearms were also involved. What I really have an issue with is the events that took place after the response. Using their authority to encourage the owner/manager to ask the armed citizensto leave was definately wrong. Also all of the messages that were sent between officers after the incident were completely uncalled for. Why is it so difficult for some LEOs to understand that armed citizensare a good thing? Being from California, where carrying (open or concealed) is fairly well off limits for citizens, I can tell you that unarmed citizens help the crime rates rise. Now it's not to say that all armed citizens "should" be carrying because we all know that there are always some bad apples in the bunch, but if the stuff hits the fan I would rather have some armed citizens at my aid than a bunch of people standing around watching, or even worse ignoring, what is happening. Violent crime rates in states that deny citizens thier 2nd Amend. right are outrageous. Just look at the crime stats in California and D.C. for a couple of examples. The LEOs out there that frown upon armed citizens need to wise up or go to work in one of these anti 2nd Amend. states. Just my 2 cents!
 

Hawkflyer

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Both LEO 229 and CATO make valid points as to backup procedures. This situations like all others must also be taken in context. Many on this forum may not remember or even have been in this area when a MCPD Officer was shot and killed in the 1980's when responding to a call of a man on the roof of a persons home with an AR-15 rifle. Sounds innocent enough until you know that the roof he was on was not his. The first responding Officer went to the rear of the building, where the moment he was sighted by the man with the rifle (now on the ground and obscured by a chest high fence) he was shot in the neck and killed. Technically speaking by the time the Officer came upon this guy, he was just a citizen legally carrying a firearm.

We now have a number of facilities named after this Officer, and the MCPD never has forgotten the lessons of this tragic incident. So for my part as I said earlier, I will not second guess most of the backup response, but here in Manassas we have a number of sensitive facilities, and allowing for the possibility of a diversion in support of criminal or terrorist activities is required. Pulling the entire watch is just not an acceptable response in the absence of an actual incident requiring that level of response. In that event the MCPD is supposed to coordinate with the Prince William Police and the Sheriff's Office for coverage. There is currently NO evidence that this coordination took place.

As you guys have pointed out a more proper response is for the first responder to assess the situation and call it in. This would usually occur prior to the arrival of many of the Officers.

The fact is that this was handled poorly. I still maintain that it is a training opportunity for this department. The E-mails in the FOIA response would indicate that perhaps this department did not learn anything from the Rodney King e-mail scandal and that does not bode well for any lessons in this incident that could change the department training.

Regards
 

LEO 229

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Hawkflyer wrote:
The fact is that this was handled poorly. I still maintain that it is a training opportunity for this department. The E-mails in the FOIA response would indicate that perhaps this department did not learn anything from the Rodney King e-mail scandal and that does not bode well for any lessons in this incident that could change the department training.

Regards


I have to agree that there was a training issue here. Once onscene and it was observed that the OC group was just having dinner they could have called off the remaining officers. 2 or 3 would have been OK.

Attempting to get the manager to kick them out was not required. They knew there was nothing they could do and this may have been an attempt to get one up on them.

Using profanity at all is unprofessional.. and when the supervisor is standing right there tells you something about the department.

All the text sent afterward to degrade the OC group was unprofessional and probably a violation of the use of the CPU. Many departments have standards for usage on the computers. DC officers were busted for racist comments.


All LEOs using the computers know that everything typed in can be obtained from FOIA at any time!!!! I guess they did not know the OC group knew how to do that very well. :p
 

VAopencarry

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LEO, Therein lies the problem. The first officer thought we were breaking the law. So the part about him ascertaining we were not up to trouble goes right out the window. The 2d cop kinda smoothed things over but then when all the others arrived a mob mentality grew and they were determined to force there will upon us one way or another.

If the 1st cop would have known the law, engaged us in conversation, determined we were not thugs, no problem even if many others did show up.

For the record, not that it should matter but I know it does, none of the 7 look like thugs, meth addicts, or any type of troublemaker. Heck over 1/2 of us are former Marines and some still kinda look the part, meaning clean cut.
 

LEO 229

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VAopencarry wrote:
LEO, Therein lies the problem. The first officer thought we were breaking the law. So the part about him ascertaining we were not up to trouble goes right out the window. The 2d cop kinda smoothed things over but then when all the others arrived a mob mentality grew and they were determined to force there will upon us one way or another.

If the 1st cop would have known the law, engaged us in conversation, determined we were not thugs, no problem even if many others did show up.

For the record, not that it should matter but I know it does, none of the 7 look like thugs, meth addicts, or any type of troublemaker. Heck over 1/2 of us are former Marines and some still kinda look the part, meaning clean cut.

How old is the 1st officer? It will take time for all the departments to get with the program and spread the word that it is a legal thing to do.

Do all of you in the group have CWPs?
 

VAopencarry

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I know 5 of us have CHP's, pretty sure the other 2 do also.

I think Manassas PD has gotten the word now about OC being legal :)

His age, haha, Someone else asked me that, I dunno, I am 45 so anyone under 30 looks like a kid to me. He was in his 20's that's about as close as I can guess.
 

cato

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VAopencarry wrote:
His age, haha, Someone else asked me that, I dunno, I am 45 so anyone under 30 looks like a kid to me. He was in his 20's that's about as close as I can guess.
He's a rookie! You're making my heart bleed for him. He's in a lot of Sh*t right now. Just consider this, he's a fellow American, and made a mistake. Many want his scalp right now, but if you called for help sometime I know his pedal would go to the floor to help a stranger. I've been there and it's our honor to serve. Fun job to have, easy to loose.
 

LEO 229

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VAopencarry wrote:
His age, haha, Someone else asked me that, I dunno, I am 45 so anyone under 30 looks like a kid to me. He was in his 20's that's about as close as I can guess.

I know what you mean!!! It is hard to tell, huh?!!

So we are looking at a rookie cop with not much experience. I'll say this.... He knows nowthat OC is permitted.


cato and I see the same thing.... I would cut him a "little" slack. He is young and still green. Wet behind the ears. He needs to learn the laws and how to handle difficult situations.


And for the CHP holders... Good for you! You are deemed fit tocarry hidden and that is a privilege you have been granted by the courts. One could saysafe hidden... safe exposed. It is all good.
 

cato

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LEO 229 wrote:


cato and I see the same thing.... I would cut him a "little" slack. He is young and still green. Wet behind the ears. He needs to learn the laws and how to handle difficult situations.


Makes me wonder how long the supervisor has had his strips. Newly promoted perhaps.

Reminds me of when I got off of training and ended up with my training mates on the same weekend graveyard shift. Our Sgt. was newly promoted and I was the senior patrolman on duty with only 4 months on. We were flying by the seats of our pants.

Fun times, but I definitely wouldn't want to repeat some of the crap I got away with now that I know better.
 
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