IanKennedy wrote:Here you go "Robocop UK".
Obviously this isn't my picture. Just showing that our armed police can be as kitted out as yours. Ours would never be on patrol like this, there would have to be some sort of very serious event going on to merit this.
Mikey wrote:I have never heard of actual enforcement officers who go unarmed. There are certainly sheriff's officers, who are county rather than municipal officers; but they only serve as LE in more rural areas without adequate municipal policing, in general keeping to duties more in line with executing court orders, etc. Even then, they are generally armed. The there are auxiliaries, who perform community outreach programs and the like, but are generally not in an enforcement role.
To answer the question: a LE officer swears to "protect and serve," even if not in those exact words. I would expect a police officer to perform the job of a police officer - including stopping a violent assailant from hurting a victim. The hypothetical fact of him not being equipped for the task is tantamount to him not being trained for the task, and in either case represents a failure of the system.
Mikey wrote:"LE" = Law Enforcement.
The actual phrase "to protect and serve" might be a local usage, but I would have to imagine that the idea of a police officer's highest calling be to serve the public trust and protect innocents from criminal activity is one that has to be relatively universal, if not one of the core reasons of police being extant at all.
IanKennedy wrote:Ah, I see. I've heard the phrase on US TV, here they're very much called police officers.
IanKennedy wrote:Well, I'm not sure that the protect part it's that universal, especially historically.
Here's a reference to the roles and responsibilities of the police in the UK. This one is issued by the West Midlands police (the force in the UK that covers the central are of England, especially around Birmingham. I suspect it's pretty typical of all UK forces. I notice that the word protect isn't in the document at all.
http://www.west-midlands.police.uk/np/w ... lities.asp
Mikey wrote:Gotcha. In my part of the States, at any rate, the term "police officer" is usually used to refer only to the enforcement operatives of a municipal or state police department - as distinct from other enforcement officers such as sheriff's officers, corrections officers, federal agency operatives, etc.
Mikey wrote:We also have temporary cross-department cooperative units, and national databases; in addition, most local enforcement will cooperate with/do legwork for federal agencies.
GrahamKennedy wrote:Whilst some of our cops do carry submachine guns, they're generally converted to semi-automatic fire only precisely to avoid the "spray rounds all over" aspect.
Mikey wrote:OK, sorry to double-pump on this, but I was considering this further. I wasn't joking about calling a semi-auto SMG a "pistol." By definition, a SMG uses a pistol-caliber cartridge; the ONLY advantages that a SMG has over a pistol is a marginally longer barrel and automatic-fire capability. The difference in barrel length between a full-sized pistol and a SMG is small enough to not provide enough difference in muzzle velocity to prefer the larger weapon over the smaller for carry use; so the only practical advantage for police use would be the ability to fire in automatic mode.
So, if we have the police armorers remove that ability, then we have NO practical advantage for the SMG over the pistol, plus a number of practical disadvantages: the SMG can't be holstered like a pistol; it is more obvious, leading to greater tension in public situations; it is heavier and more awkward to carry, especially for any length of time. Add to that the cost factor - I don't have figures available for direct-to-government sales, but retail numbers would do for a simple comparison. A typical pistol, SOTA and in use by many modern departments in the U.S., retails for anything from $500 - $1000 U.S. in popular LE calibers like 9mm, .40 S&W, .45 ACP, .357 SIG, or 10mm. A SMG in any of those popular chamberings would retail for AT LEAST $2000 - $2500. Why would you have a publicly-funded department spend up to 5x or more per piece for something that does the job more poorly? Something is not kosher with the statement that police in the UKoGBaNI use SMG's, but have them converted to semiautomatic-only fire.
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