Saturday, April 11, 2009

Why Warren Miller scares the hell out of me

In the wake of several screw ups by SWAT teams in Maryland, most recently the incident in Howard County where a tactical team broke down the door of an innocent man's trailer and shot his dog, a bill was introduced to make these tactical teams accountable to the public.
The bill requires jurisdictions to report to the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention every six months on how many times a tactical team is deployed, along with the location, reason and legal authority for the deployment.

Police and sheriff’s departments will have to state whether they made arrests, whether property was seized and whether they made forced entry, fired their weapons or injured a person or animal.

Four members of the Howard County delegation voted against the bill.

Four members of the Howard County House delegation were among those who voted against the bill, including state Dels. Gail Bates and Warren Miller, both Republicans, and state Dels. Steven Deboy and James Malone, both Democrats.

Warren Miller explained his opposition to the bill:

“It’s additional overhead and it takes away from (law enforcement agencies’) real mission,” Miller said of his opposition to the bill.

Can you believe this? He opposes the bill because it would be an administrative hassle to police agencies? There is nothing more dangerous to a free society than a police force run amok. We would be far safer not having tactical teams at all than having them be unaccountable for their actions.

I have no idea why the other three delegates voted against the bill, but I am sure their reasons are just as mindless.

The police still have not finished investigating the shooting of the dog in Elkridge even though they were on the freaking scene and, in fact, THE ONES WHO SHOT THE DOG. What could possibly be taking so long?

While I think Warren Miller gets it right on wanting low taxes, I have no patience for his support of government intrusions into the lives of private citizens.


Anonymous said...

The Howard County Police dept is encouraging community input on Monday, April 20 in Marriottsville.
more info:

Also, there's a survey:

PZGURU said...

FM - I don't think Warren Miller is supporting government intrusion into people's private lives. I'm not sure how you got that out of what he said or his "no" vote on the bill.

I take his opposition to the bill as simply not wanting the State to be overseeing the Counties like a big brother's big brother. The State can't even take care of its own affairs so why should they intrude into the affairs of the Counties?

The rest of this incident sounds like a complete cluster-F, but can't the AG's office handle it without a new law, creating more bureaucracy, being passed?

Freemarket said...

PZG- Anytime a problem can be solved without legislation, that is preferable to passing new laws. When a legislator's only tool is a hammer, all problems are nails. Maybe that is the case here.

I am more in favor of local laws as opposed to federal or state laws, so I see merit in that kind of opposition to this bill. That is not what Miller said his objection was.

My only desire is to hold SWAT teams accountable and get them to publish usage statistics.

PZGURU said...

I agree that if there must be a new law - better to have local laws than more fed or state laws, although frankly I feel like we have way too many local laws as it is. The MD Code is getting to be the size of Oprah's waistline during her off years.

Requiring SWAT usage stats seems reasonable to me, but I don't want O'Malley getting put in charge of SWAT team usage/oversight. The County should provide the stats as a matter of public information just like there are stats and info on police involved shootings, arrests, etc.

It seems like the info is slow in coming because someone obviously made a big boo-boo on this particular operation and it will certianly end in a lawsuit (if one hasn't already been filed).

Anonymous said...

The Howard County Police dept has a questionaire on their website for residents to provide them with information.

Also, they're encouraging community members to attend an accredidation meeting on April 20 at 7pm.

If no one provides them with any input, don't complain later.

Anonymous said...

Oops, the police info is already posted.

jim adams said...

There are two things that I appreciate in this discussion.
Reducing paper work and the administrative hassle that is reduced when there is less paper, and accountability.

They are difinitly contradicions, which always makes for a good discussion.

If we restated the problem, a solution may fall out.

What is more important, the public work day of an elected official, or the safty of those that the public official represents.

Hum, tough one.

Anonymous said...

This is why Warren Miller scares the hell out of me:

Anonymous said...

If you follow the links, here's what Miller said in the nested posting:

"Our Libraries waste tons of Money - look at mine where you can rent the “Godfather” or “Goodfellas” on DVD. Medical coverage to 300% of the poverty line is bankrupting the state, we pay for people who have kids and don’t want to buy insurance. And I’m really not a fan of funding medical coverage for Illegals in our emergency rooms, and paying for Illegal work centers in Montgomery and Prince Georges County. Oh, and while I’m at it Baltimore City Schools losing 100,000 students in 10 years and not firing any employees and not shutting any schools is certainly a waste. I can write for days, but in closing when Howard County Taxpayers get .20 cents back on every dollar they pay in state taxes, something is very broken……"

Freemarket said...

I didn't see any links to follow, but if Miller really said that, he was making a lot of sense and I agree with much of what he said.

Anonymous said...

One of the comments in this article:

...had this link to Miller's comments: