The police department of Hallandale Beach, Florida no longer has a SWAT team. This week, the ten officers who comprise the tactical unit resigned in a show of unity against the “politicialization of our tactics.” Internal Hallandale Beach Police documents, obtained by CNN, show that the SWAT team members will remain on the police force itself, but they will no longer take up the duties required by the elite tactical unit.
In a letter to Police Chief Sonia Quinones, the officers said they were “minimally equipped, under trained and often times restrained by the politicization of our tactics to the extent of placing the safety of dogs over the safety of the team members.”
The officers also pointed out that they were extremely unhappy to see their command staff take a knee with anti-police demonstrators last week.
“Until these conditions and sentiments are rectified and addressed, we cannot safely, effectively and in good faith carry out duties in this capacity without putting ourselves and our families at this needless increased level of risk,” the officers said.
The police department apparently decided that it would be less effort to simply let the SWAT team dissolve than to address these minimal-yet-important concerns, so Hallandale Beach Manager Greg Chavarria sent out a statement confirming that the officers had resigned from the squad.
“The City of Hallandale Beach continues to have special weapons and tactics coverage through regional mutual aid, which the City has used for SWAT operations in the past. While the voluntary resignation of our officers from this assignment is unfortunate, our residents should be assured it has not had any impact on our commitment to protecting their safety. Also, while these officers have resigned from the SWAT Team, they have not resigned from the Department,” the statement said.
Chavarria also spoke about the SWAT team’s anger over watching their superiors bow before protesters, but he didn’t seem too apologetic about it.
“They specifically mention their displeasure with the Chief joining members of our community in taking a knee against racism, hatred, and intolerance earlier this week. They have incorrectly stated the gesture was in support of an elected official. This is simply not true,” Chavarria said.
Well, we’re not sure where that confusion came in, but let’s be clear: police officers kneeling in front of protesters (the majority of whom have demands that veer wildly into the territory of the idiotic) is a disgrace. It’s perhaps even more pathetic than watching Democrats in Washington do it. At least that’s the kind of pandering we expect from the likes of Pelosi & Friends. The police ought to take a good look at the goals of Black Lives Matter and think twice about it.
In the meantime, we have a feeling these won’t be the last police resignations we see in the coming weeks and months.