There is also an interesting piece in the Dallas Morning News about the proliferation of tactical teams among small law enforcement agencies.
Across the nation, however, the wisdom of relatively small law enforcement agencies fielding tactical teams increasingly is being questioned. Some experts suggest that smaller departments don't have a sufficient pool from which to select ideal candidates, and may not have sufficient funds for training and equipment. Routine duties such as patrol and investigations may suffer in small departments where serving on a tactical team is a part-time duty.
Experts also warn that small teams, with perhaps six or 12 members, simply don't have the numbers to carry out high-risk operations such as hostage rescues or even barricaded-person incidents. Lacking sufficient numbers, they say, both the officers and citizens may be exposed to excessive risk.
Back when I was a police officer (in a city of about 100,000 population) and on our tactical team, it was kind of interesting to see smaller agencies with their SWAT teams. Picture a out of shape fat guy with a machine gun and you get the picture. It takes a ton of time and money to field even a halfway acceptable team.
What I find interesting in the DMN article is that several of the agencies mentioned exist in areas with overlapping jurisdictions such as the school district police departments and constable's offices. Part of the problem lies with Texas mentality to give a police agency to any and everyone that wants one such as the state Dental Board or the Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association.
There's also an interesting story from San Jose, CA about a program to have their officers wear head mounted cameras to record all their interactions with the public.
San Jose police, under fire for interactions with the public that have turned violent, on Friday launched a pilot project equipping officers with head-mounted cameras to record contacts with civilians.
Officers will activate the cameras, about the size of a Bluetooth device and attached by a headband above the ear, every time they respond or make contact with a person. At the end of the officer's shift, the recording will be downloaded to a central server.While I like the idea of recording our interactions with the public, I'd hate to be the poor beat cop spending a whole shift with this thing stuck to his head.