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Posted at 7:28 AM ET, 01/24/2011

Hearing for Berwyn Heights mayor

By The Associated Press

Berwyn Heights Mayor Cheye Calvo says Prince George's County is still relying too heavily on SWAT teams.

Calvo says he will speak to the media about the issue after a hearing Monday in his ongoing lawsuit against the county over the shooting death of his two dogs.

The dogs were killed in 2008 when deputies raided his home after a package containing marijuana was sent to the home.

Police later cleared Calvo saying the delivery was likely part of a scheme by smugglers sending packages to unsuspecting people.

Calvo says he has since worked to enact a reporting law for the use of SWAT teams and data shows the use of SWAT teams has dropped since the raid, but the county continues to use them more than other law enforcement agencies.

By The Associated Press  | January 24, 2011; 7:28 AM ET
Categories:  Pr. George's, Updates  
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Comments

So is his complaint with the police dept., or the sheriff dept.? Has there been any reported issues such as his since 2008? NO! Are the police and sheriff depts., reporting their deployment as required? YES! So WHAT is the problem? And using them more than other agencies????
WAKE UP! P.G.County has more violent crime than others, I would expect them to be used more.

Posted by: curiousGeorge4 | January 24, 2011 9:57 AM | Report abuse

There is a lot of crim in PG county curiousgeorge4, but there are law abiding citizens who should'nt have their homes raided and dogs killed by police who did not do proper investigations ahead of time. I'd like to see what you have to say if this same situation happened to you.

Posted by: bobby31 | January 24, 2011 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Why does an increased crime rate increase the reliance on SWAT teams? More violent crime might correlate to more Police, but why SWAT? There has been violent crime since the beginning of time...So now for some reason violent crime requires the use of special weapons and tactics? Maybe we should just get our police departments to get SEAL Team Six on retainer to serve search warrants on locations with no prior connection to crime, violent or otherwise.....

Local SWAT teams are a joke. People who unconditionally support the police are even more of a joke.

This guy's pets were killed by overzealous Cops, and he hasn't even gotten a sincere "I'm Sorry, mistakes were made." The Cops basically said "I'm sorry your animals are dead, but we followed procedure to the letter."

How long until you start hearing "I'm sorry your son is dead, and he did nothing wrong, but we followed procedure to the letter?"

Oh wait, that already occurs...and local prosecutors do nothing about it.

We'd be better served to give everybody guns and say you are on your own than to empower local-yocal flunkie cops with guns and badges and tacit permission to violate people's rights in the name of keeping us safe.

Posted by: JoeMck | January 24, 2011 11:03 AM | Report abuse

bobby31,
Sadly, its the law abiding citizens who have to deal with this kind of stuff because of those who aren't law abiding.
P.G. county(or any other for that matter) doesn't deploy them for things like unpaid parking tickets.
My guess is based upon the quantity of drugs sent to the address they may have considered it a high risk of violence thinking it was a significant drug operation.
I'd rather have the police err on the side of caution and everyone except the dogs goes home to his/her family that night instead of a death of a person resulting from underestimating what they were facing.

Posted by: BigDaddy651 | January 24, 2011 11:08 AM | Report abuse

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My guess is based upon the quantity of drugs sent to the address they may have considered it a high risk of violence thinking it was a significant drug operation.

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Well then, maybe have some Detectives surveil the house for a few days? Do a public records search to figure out it's the mayors house?

Do or think about anything before putting on your tactical gear and going in with your guns blazing?

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I'd rather have the police err on the side of caution and everyone except the dogs goes home to his/her family that night instead of a death of a person resulting from underestimating what they were facing.

Err on the side of Caution? Again...was anything done..any surveillance, reconnaisance, research of any kind done to determine the risk of entering this home?

How is assuming the worst an acceptable way to err on the side of caution? If that's the case, maybe the police should pre-emtively arrest all people in SW DC who look a certain way and are out on the streets after 2:00AM, because, after all it is mostly those people whom are guilty of crimes?

Excusing police excess in the name of law and order isn't law and order at all.

This package was shipped from Arizona. The local police has no evidence or knowledge that anything illegal was going on in this home. Does the fact that a box of drugs is being shipped to this address create enough probable cause to believe that drugs are otherwise present at this address?

Tomorrow if the police intercept another box of drugs..going to a different address...are they going to respond the same way? Even though it should be perfectly clear to them now that drugs being delivered to an address doesn't mean that there is a drug operation going on?

So tell me another reason why it's ok for Cops to shoot first and ask questions last?

Posted by: JoeMck | January 24, 2011 12:59 PM | Report abuse

bobby31: Did I say there were not law abiding persons in P.G. County? No, I said there is ALOT of violent crime, maybe the need for more reliance on SWAT use. If PG leads the state in SWAT usage, and hasn't had a similar incident in the past three years (and remember it was not the police swat team) maybe they are doing something right. Don't let your hate for the police cloud common sense.

Posted by: curiousGeorge4 | January 24, 2011 5:55 PM | Report abuse

WAKE UP! P.G.County has more violent crime than others, I would expect them to be used more.

Posted by: curiousGeorge4

Last week there was a trial in fairfax VA about a SWAT Team member who shot an unarmed man during an arrest for him running a sports betting operation. Is fairfax violent in your opinion? The problem is when should you use a swat team. How do you kill a mouse in your house? With a 45 pistol or a mouse trap? Now let that be your dogs and your house raided and your entire opinion would be different. We always have one opinion when its us and another when its someone else.

Posted by: ged0386 | January 24, 2011 6:33 PM | Report abuse

When you deploy heavy handed teams for routine crimes you run the risk of having these mistakes. Another problem with the police in the metro area in general is they recruit a lot of officers from other areas that are straight out of the military so they have soldier mentality instead of police officer mentality. I know in DC the jump out squads treat any group of two or more black guys as standing still on the sidewalk as potential criminal activity. Because thats what they have been programmed to think and they have no relationship with the community they work in so they cant differentiate the criminal from the non criminal. They rely too much on how you look rather than who you are. To some cops, even black cops black males appear to be a threat to them even when they are not. They become easily agitated and overly suspicious even when there is no reason to be based on the persons behavior. They need to be trained better. Especially the ones who have been in the military or in combat.

Posted by: ged0386 | January 24, 2011 6:43 PM | Report abuse

So ged0386, are you one of the officers you write about? No??? Then don't add your uninformed comments. They make you sound "unintelligent".

Posted by: curiousGeorge4 | January 24, 2011 7:49 PM | Report abuse

Joe,
Rather than dissect police tactics why not place blame where it belongs...with the people breaking the law that result in the police department's tactics?
How much time and probable cause is enough to execute?
You're talking about 2 dogs. Its sad, but, at least it isn't a person. Keep some perspective.
If some of the residents just didn't sell or use drugs none of this would be necessary.

Posted by: BigDaddy651 | January 24, 2011 9:40 PM | Report abuse

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